We have a very sensitive smoke alarm in the living room-kitchen area of our house. If I’m cooking something that emits any smoke, it’s pretty much guaranteed to begin blaring its loud siren. “Fire! Fire! Fire!”

We all know the drill as soon as it happens. Open the windows and doors, and turn on the ceiling fan. Recently, we had company, and I was cooking bacon. I told the sister about the smoke alarm situation so she wouldn’t be afraid when it began, and also so she could help me open the windows. Her response was, “Why not just open them now?” Brilliant! I had never thought to do that. Opening the windows before I cook the bacon would avoid the entire chaotic situation.

One would think that, by this point in my life, I would know how and when to avoid chaos. Not all chaos is in my control, but there are definitely circumstances that I can have control over.

I AM in control of how much time I dedicate to reading scripture and praying. If I am careless about my service to God, then I am inviting chaos to enter my life in ways that I may not even know existed.

“Glory ye in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the Lord. Seek the Lord and His strength, seek His face continually.” (1 Chronicles 16:10-11)

I AM in control of how I speak to others and what we speak about. At my previous job, there was a situation where I said something to my boss that really caused a problem. I still don’t think what I said was wrong, but had I thought twice about it, I would have delivered the message with different words and definitely not through an email. From that day on, I had a sticky note on my computer that said “Think twice.” That little sticky-note reminder helped me avoid chaos more than once.

“He that keepeth his mouth keepeth his life: but he that openeth wide his lips shall have destruction.” (Proverbs 13:3)

I AM in control of making wise financial decisions. You might think this point is out of place for this blog, but I can attest to the fact that poor financial choices cause anxiety and chaos in our lives. Once upon a time, many years ago, I made a terrible decision when I bought a car. I will spare you the details, but it was a hard lesson to learn, and it taught me that I needed to live within my means.

“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matthew 6:33)

There are many more situations I could describe about avoiding chaos, but it’s not necessary, because if we put Jesus first in every situation, that covers everything. Jesus clearly tells us that peace is within our reach.

“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

Depending on the situation, sometimes we have to open a window to let the smoke out, or keep the window closed tight to keep it from coming inside. There’s enough craziness in this world without adding to it. With God’s help, let’s work together to avoid the chaos.

“For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.” (1 Corinthians 14:33)

This article has undergone ministry review and approval.

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