Monday, April 4, 2011


I believe you have two choice in this life: accept the chaos that the world around you and move on or don't accept the chaos and let the it destroy you.

We're reading a story in my American Lit class called "Entropy" by Thomas Pynchon. Honestly, the guy's more than a little psycho. He's completely nuts. And it took me about nine times reading the story to begin to grasp the meaning held within it. But, once I got's here. It's real. And, maybe just maybe, the guy isn't as crazy as I thought he was.

I'm not going to retell the story in it's entirety, because you can preform a simple Google search and find it for yourself. But, the main story is about two characters. The first one, Meatball Mulligan has a lease breaking party at his apartment. The party gets crazy wild and out of hand and chaos enters the equation. At one point there's a girl drowning in the shower. Crazy. I know, right? He realizes he has two choices. He can either go hide in the closet or he can go out there and get the party under control and fix it. He's able to troubleshoot the problem (by calling the refrigerator repair man, giving the sailors more alcohol, etc) and moves on. Rather than hiding from his problems, he resolves them and controls the chaos. On the other hand, we have Meatball's upstairs neighbor Callisto. The first thing we know is off about this guy is that he's married to an alien woman. Um, yeah. Weird. Moving on, we find out him and his alien wifey have developed a perfectly controlled ecosystem within their apartment. They never go out (because they are part of the perfect system), but rather they have anything they need delivered to them. And then- chaos enters the equation. The little bird that Callisto spends the entire story trying to keep alive dies. And at that moment, his perfect system is destroyed. It sets up a string of horrible events and opens himself up to the chaos of the outside world. He's unable to troubleshoot his problems and is ultimately destroyed (it's implied he's certain he is on an imminent path to death/darkness).

So, what does this all mean? And why am I blogging on it?
Entropy (as defined by my English teacher and interpreted by my "I've never taken physics and I never wish to" mind) is the measure of disorder in a system. It's the idea that nature pushes towards disorder or randomness (which we commonly refer to as chaos). Wikipedia (closest thing I have to a Physics textbook) says that "The interpretation of entropy in statistical mechanics [the interpretation Pynchon refers to in the story] is the measure of uncertainty which remains about a system after its observable macroscopic properties, such as temperature, pressure and volume, have been taken into account." As humans, we have a tendency to move towards disorder. We don't want to, but we do. There is a certain amount of uncertainty (that we can't calculate) in our lives. Chaos is inevitable. We try and control our lives, but time and time again, chaos turns up and enters our zone. Basically...we don't have control.

We only have one choice and one thing we can have control over. We can either choose to be destroyed by this chaos (because "in this world we will have troubles") or we can embrace it and trust that God knows what's going on. I believe the God I serve is not bound by the laws of Physics. I believe he can truly do anything and that there is no chaos in His life. He's in complete control of what's going on and he has my best interests in mind. Like in Job. God allows Satan to try and test Job so that the glory of God can be shown. In the end, the greater good is done and Job is rewarded for his faithfulness. While we are here on earth, there will be chaos. And we will not always be in control (you have no idea how hard it is for me to say that). But. Take heart. For HE has conquered the world.

It's up to you to decide. Are you going to embrace the chaos and hang on for the wild ride? Or are you going to be destroyed by it?  Entropy is inescapable. We're all going to have chaos in our lives and can't plan every  detail of what's going to happen. We can't live in a bubble- a perfectly controlled environment- forever. Something's going to come along and shake up our world. So, where do you stand? 


  1. did you know that there are equations based on entropy? It took me forever to even begin to understand, and I still don't. I feel sorry for the people that have to really know it. That would be one of the many reasons why I hated chem 2 freshman year. Hope you have a great week!

  2. Of course, the law of entropy is based on things being left to their own devices. If, on the other hand, an external force or energy source is applied (call it negentropy) then entropy is slowed or halted. We can to a large degree consider chaos to be, like evil, an anti-god. Therefore, adding God into a chaotic situation, can counteract the entropy and bring life instead of death. Just my 2 cents.

  3. Oh, Pynchon's a total mess. We read his The Crying of Lot 49 in my contemporary American lit class this semester.

    Even as this world and our lives move toward greater disorder, I believe when we submit to God, He enters the mess of our hearts and He begins to work beauty and order there. We just have to make the choice to surrender.