During our preparation to be sent as missionaries, we had a time of Q & A with our Presiding Bishop, Mark Hanson. One fellow asked a question (I can’t remember what) which the bishop reflected back to him. His response was perfect: “Which answer do you want, the neat one or the crazy one?”
I think that’s a fair question, for all of us. What kind of life do you want? What kinds of relationships do you want? What brings you joy, what soothes you, what gets you out of bed in the morning?
For a lot of us, our days are spent putting things in order. If it’s not in order at the end of the day, it may mean a sleepless night. It takes everything we have to “let go and let God” even for 8 hours. Things being out of order means we don’t have the neat answer that would, I think, feel *so* good and be *so* easy.
But since we’ve become missionaries (the kind that have a plane ticket and a passport), so many people have not only laughed with us about the craziness of moving to the other side of the world, but they’ve talked about the times when their life wasn’t neat, times when things felt risky, and yes, crazy. They’ve talked about where they saw God in the mess.
So which answer do we ultimately seek – the neat one, or the crazy one? Well, of course it’s both. We need order in order to function, and we need for life to have surprises. And sometimes, what seems neat is actually all kinds of under-the-surface crazy, and what seems crazy is actually an elegant step or solution. Either way, we are not the ultimate, and we are not in charge. God is in all of the answers, and God is in the questions as well.