This past weekend, with the help of tremendous friends, my family moved into a home three blocks up the street. The past five years we’ve been in a rental. It was what we needed for the time, but we were fortunate enough to buy a home we love. We are excited to share it with friends, family and neighbors.
As I type this, there are boxes everywhere in our new home. Making our way through the jungle of boxes is difficult for our personality. We are people of order and organization. We like to get things done, make progress and get organized. We want to unload every box immediately, but we know we can’t (though we try very hard in our attempt).
There are limitations for sure; when its almost 1 am some things should wait until the morning. We’ve had to grow into being comfortable with the desk lamp sitting in the corner, the box of nicknacks on the floor, the picture frames leaning against the wall by the coat rack and the fact you can’t find your belt. Occasionally you find something you’ve been looking for (i.e. “Honey, I found the shower caddy!”) bringing a moment of simple elation and surprise. It’s just the nature of moving into a new place.
This past weekend I attended the inaugural Missio Alliance conference in Washington D.C. There were so many stirring conversations, presentations and discussions, but the phrase kingdom chaos kept coming to me throughout the time. I don’t think anyone said it during a presentation or plenary session; it was a phrase that came to me and stuck. In many ways I wonder if kingdom chaos is a lot like our new home right now. The kingdom is where we have a new home, but it is not perfectly organized. It is chaos – healthy chaos – chaos nonetheless.
It reminded me of the stirring presentation by Dr. Amos Young who spoke on the interrupting nature of the Spirit. He asked a simple question a few different times during his session: Am I willing to be interrupted by the Spirit?
In Acts 2 when the Spirit shows up the question the people asked was, “What does this mean?” That remains the question! The Spirit interrupts our circumstances, but he often does it through the other. The Spirit is no respecter of interrupting. The Spirit also interrupts the status quo (friends, life, finances, etc) in Acts 2. New communities and new cultures emerge because of the Spirit. The interruption of the other is inconveniencing and yet its where new life truly happens.
Then Dr. Young said something I had never considered before. He said, to be missional means to be entirely content to be interrupted by the Spirit. You cannot be missional if you do not have a deep trust and dependence upon the Spirit.
When you move into a new house you are interrupted by others who are wanting to help: “Where does this box go?” “Do you have a pair of scissors?” “Can you unlock the back door?” “Where’s your bathroom?” “I’m assuming the weed eater goes to the garage, is that right?” “Do you have a bandaid?” “Where is the ladder?” “Does this lamp go up to your office?” It’s hard to stay focused on move-in day. It is chaos, but it is good chaos. Change is happening. Good change. We are living into a new reality. It is much like kingdom chaos.
In addition to the phrase kingdom chaos I also have a new question: Am I willing to be interrupted by the Spirit?
And, truth be told, I would really just like to find which box my socks are in.