Thursday, March 22, 2007

Chaotic Harmony

People ask us what it is like to live in a room with four other guys. Well, it goes something like this:

At about 8:00 PM, Benjamin will slumber to bed with the complaint of a headache. Half an hour later, Isaac, a devout follower of Benjamin Franklin's saying, "Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise," storms into the room blazing a fluorescent light into Benjamin's bed causing him to groan and mumble something about turning off the light. Eventually the light goes out, the door slams shut, and silence creeps to the sleepers' ears once more.

Next, at around 9:30-10:00, the rest of the boys tumble down the stairs once again flicking on the light. The same process as the first occurs except this time there are two groans instead of one. As long as no one decides to read by lamp or flashlight, darkness enfolds, but not necessarily silence. At least three people begin to snore monotonously, each with their own special rhythm and beat. Then someone babbles in their sleep a hardly comprehensible sentence or two about a school assignment or a confession to some crime committed earlier. It sounds a lot like a high school band out of practice accompanied by a singer who has serious vocal problems. It definitely doesn't sound like a lullaby coaxing you to sleep.

Sometimes, in the midst of all this racket, the three year old will emigrate from his own room and crawl into someone's bed to join in with the chorus. Yep, it's going to be a long night.

At 3:30 AM someone's alarm accidentally goes off. You'll hear the shuffling of someone's covers, and a hand muffles the unwanted noise. Then at 5:45 AM, a higher pitched alarm buzzes, and Isaac crawls out of bed to begin his day. Everyone else's alarm goes off at various times after that. The trick is knowing which one is yours and how to sleep through everyone else's.

With the long night over, it would be nice to forget the den you just escaped. But the dirty room and what to do about it will haunt your day.

Cleaning the room is no one's favorite job and how to clean it, or if to clean it at all, has been hotly debated. On the right wing is the majority who would rather not tidy up the room. On the left wing is the minority, Isaac, who urges radical steps to reform. Isaac suggested a quick sweep of the room each day. That didn't work. Then he wrote the Ten Commandments for Room Maintenance. That's when he found out imperfect people cannot follow perfect laws.

How the room ever looked like this bewilders me.

But hey, with all the chaos, you would think we'd spend our time in the room together sharpening knives, stashing guns and ammo under our pillows, and glaring at each other savagely. Why hasn't our stay together ended up as just an example of survival of the fittest? How do we manage to tolerate each other and even care about each other after long nights and messy rooms?

The answer ultimately lies in our love for Christ. "We love because he first loved us." Because we love him, we want to listen to him and please him. As 1 John says, "And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another just as he has commanded us." And the same instruction is found in Ephesians, "Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you." Our marching orders are unmistakable--love each other.

So, now you know how five guys live in chaotic harmony in the same room.


Anonymous said...

The pictures are great!! I love the fact that I can picture ya'll acting just like that! I miss all of you, and I'm sure that by the time I get back Gillian and Jonathan will have completely forgotten me. :( Have fun trying to keep your repective rooms clean!

Rivers Daughter said...

Ha ha ha...I laughed so hard and called Mom and Tivoli in to look at the pictures. Thank you for this great post, I loved it!

See you on Sunday.

Roger said...

You guys give me hope...

Camy (your mom's friend in Michigan, mom to 6 boybarians)