I love it when God's magnificence confounds the scientists! And I love chaos theory, I love the mystery within it, its unpredictability, its non conformance to rational scientific models, the power of its impact. God is like that, unfathomable, unpredictable, a mystery but at the same time omnipotent and brilliant way beyond the brightest minds our secular context can deliver. This tsunami like wave hits the lighthouse with enormous force, probably causing great damage on the shore. Like the tsunami in Thailand in 2004, this wave was probably not predicted or expected. What fascinates me in this picture is that I can see patterns of symmetry within the wave, within what would appear to be an enormous burst of undirected energy. But within the seeming chaos, a pattern can be detected.
I believe that this is nature, God's creation, showing us how God works. He sends chaos into our world and our lives and we recoil and rebound from its impact, but slowly overtime, God reveals a purpose in the chaos, a pattern - his plan for our lives. This is why the turbulence of nature intrigues and mesmerizes me. We think God is invisible but if we only look around us at his creation, he is revealed there.
Science takes the uncertainty out of life and I believe, at the same time, it takes away the excitement. It removes that dynamic of mystery which calls for unwavering belief that in him, all will be well. Scientific equations tell us what the outcome of the combination of multiple variables will be - it is purely rational, we know the answers, providing we can do the math. Scientists all over the world have been unable to agree on a definition or a well defined mathematical model for chaos theory
. But with chaos theory we meet the universal Christ, (Christ revealed in the expansiveness of the Universe - Christ is in everything, every element of creation) where we have no choice but to look to him for answers, to have faith, to embrace mystery and unpredictability and in that, he reveals his magnificent omnipotence.
The three winged bird pictured on the right is the result of a chaotic system, plotted over millions of iterations. The system appears to be wandering displaying new and different behaviour, but over time this beautiful shape is revealed as order emerges from the chaos. This order was always inherent in the system but could not be seen until its chaotic movements were mapped over time. What more can I say - we have an awesome God!
Margaret J Wheatley. 2006. Leadership and the New Science. San Francisco"Berrett Koehler