Spiritual Director · November 11, 2015


Chaos! Defined in the dictionary as “state of confusion or disorder,” seems to describe life, doesn’t it? Our calendars are full, we are busy, and stress is part of our lives. The Holidays are upon us as my satellite radio station begin offering Christmas music on one of the channels! For my birthday last week my daughter got me a bottle of that aromatherapy called “stress relief.” It is one of those pleasant odors that you “mist” on your pillow before you go to bed. It actually increased my stress; trying to go to sleep on a wet pillow is hard! Then I read the small print “allow fabric to dry prior to contact!”  When we do settle down and attempt to rest we think of all that we should be doing. I have often thought of life like “Pig Pen,” the Peanuts character who had the “dust cloud” following him. He seemed to take that cloud everywhere and we may be feeling it today. Stress and chaos are all around us.

The top stress events have been ranked: new home, job change, new baby, marriage and death! One of the top ways to counter chaos, this survey showed, is to pray and to have a sense of God in your life. Also important to counter stress/chaos is exercise, diet and REST!! It’s funny how we operate, because I know even when we rest we long for more chaos. When is the last time you simply sat down for any length of time? if we don’t have enough chaos in our lives, we try to create more!! We push ourselves and push to the point of exhaustion. And all the while, God pulls, God calls, and God is the still, small voice saying “Come on to me and I will give you rest..” (Matthew 11:28). Allow God to embrace you today, and hold you close in the chaos. Every storm passes eventually, every dark night gives way to morning light, God has done great work in taking the chaos and stress, and making something good out of it. Slow down today, smell the fresh air of winter settling in, and look to the Lord for peace in the pieces of a busy life!

Over the last two weeks associates at the two hospitals where I work have died suddenly. One brain aneurysm and one cardiac arrest. Many of us are reflecting on how we live our lives. We do not know when our last day will be, and if we wake up tomorrow we will be given one more day. It calls forth our best efforts at slowing down and really living. It’s slowing down and really loving. Yesterday at the funeral service for one of these associates her brother talked about how he had a close relationship with his sister. They used to talk one, sometimes twice a day. I have two brothers I don’t talk to once a month! I can’t go backward, but I think tonight I’ll give them a call and see how they are doing. Why don’t you join me? Call a long, lost sibling or family member today. Today, not tomorrow or this weekend. Slow down, rest and take the time to make the call. You may not get tomorrow!

Doug Givan

Staff Chaplain

St. Vincent Clay (Brazil)

St. Vincent Seton Specialty (Indianapolis)


dgivan@stvincent.org (email)

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Eric is our current Webmaster and works on the NLS Communications Team. Raised in Judaism, he found Christ and the New Testament at age 16 in a Southern Baptist Church. He searched many denominations for the real church, only to find the Holy Spirit is present in all of them. He's worked for One for Israel, a group of native Israeli believers who are sharing the gospel in the holy land in Hebrew and is part of the only Hebrew speaking seminary in Israel.