Andrew Budek-Schmeisser, Life, Masters of Chaos, Uncategorized

Chaos: Overcoming Chaos (guest post by Andrew Budek-Schmeisser)

Today, I have the privilege of hosting Andrew Budek-Schmeisser. We’ve crossed paths in the blogosphere many times. His blog comments often challenge me to think outside the box. He has a unique perspective on life. I have a lot of respect for him. When he shared his comments on last week’s blog, I was intrigued and asked him to guest post today. Please welcome Andrew!

Photo by Kristi Barile

Masters of Chaos by Andrew Budek-Schmeisser

Chaos is a part of being human. So is overcoming it.

The first step in riding through a chaotic time is to recognize what chaos does. Turning it into an acronym may help…

C – confusion
H – helplessness
A – anxiety
O – overwhelmed
S – sadness

Chaos is, first and foremost, confusing. It takes your normal routine and turns it on its head. Think back to grade school – remember the fire drills they occasionally pulled? While they were a fun way to get out of class, that first moment,when the bell went was an introduction to chaos.

That’s why they have drills – so that you’ll know what to do when the bell rings.

Chaos can leave you feeling helpless. It’s like a terrier shaking a rat – life has grabbed you in its jaws and it seems so large and powerful that nothing you do will make a bit of difference.

Photo by Dr. Yong Park

Anxiety naturally grows out of chaos, because you don’t know how it’s going to turn out. You project forward into a future that’s unreadable because the normal signposts are gone – and you assume the worst.

It leaves you feeling overwhelmed, because chaotic events enjoy company – they rarely come alone. Things will start to fall apart in series or parallel, and you want to cry ‘enough’.


And finally there’s sadness, a strength-and-initiative-sapping melancholy that comes because it seems that things simply can’t be set right again.

Knowing your enemy is half the battle. So, how do we fight back? Let’s turn the acronym on its head.

C – courage
H – hope
A – aggressive action
O – optimism
S – serenity


Courage is vital, because you’re dealing with an enemy that wants to win by undermining your character, and thus, your effectiveness.

You can build courage, so that you have it ‘in the bank’ when chaos comes to call. It’s simple – do what you fear when you can. This may be standing on the roof and looking down, or jumping off the high board at the local YMCA pool. Courage is a choice, and it’s a choice that you have to keep in trim through exercise.


Hope is the vision to the future that says things will get better. Hope animates us.

In the action-thriller The Rock, Sean Connery says that he survived indefinite imprisonment by “nurturing the hope that there was hope that one day I’d breathe free air”.

You don’t have to start with much. Just a mustard seed.

When things get pear-shaped in life, you need to look for avenues of aggressive action. Chaos won’t cure itself.

And never second-guess. Once you make a decision, don’t change it.

You can train for this, too, by making a choice to be decisive. Make decisions quickly, and stick with them. Start with simple things – like coffee at Starbucks. Get in the habit of aggressive action.

Optimism is related to hope, but it’s more immediate. Learn to talk optimistically – work toward never letting a negative or pessimistic word pass your lips. As a man speaketh, so is he – so speak positive. Practice now, so, again, you’re in the habit.


Finally, serenity will take you places where nervousness never will. Remember, “trouble came to pass, but nowhere is it written that is came to stay”.

Serenity keeps you from running over an emotional cliff. It lets your heart back off, and your logical head step to the plate to take the incoming pitches – the illegal spitballs that chaos-the-pitcher throws.

Dealing successfully with an uncertain and chaotic world is possible – you can not only survive, but thrive! There are time-proven methods, and all you have to do is start making them part of your life now. Build on a solid foundation, so when the storm comes – your house will stand!

What about you? What methods do you use when chaos appears in your life? What Scripture do you find helpful?

Andrew Budek-Schmeisser runs a dog sanctuary called Howlin’ Paws where he and his wife give unwanted dogs a second chance at being loved. He blogs at Blessed are the Pure of Heart

You can find him on Facebook, and Twitter.

12 thoughts on “Chaos: Overcoming Chaos (guest post by Andrew Budek-Schmeisser)”

  1. I liked how you broke CHAOS down into an acronym to explain it … and then turned it on it’s head and used the word CHAOS as another acronym and told us how to beat it! One of the more challenging parts for me? When you wrote: “And never second-guess. Once you make a decision, don’t change it.”
    I confess to second-guessing myself. And I definitely wreak havoc — mental chaos — on myself when I do that.


    1. Beth, thank you for stopping by!

      Avoiding second-guessing is one of the hardest things we can do. Hindsight is always 20-20…or we THINK it is. But really, we have both more and less information after the fact. More, because we know how it came out, and less because we no longer have access to the situation as it was, and ourselves as WE were.


  2. Thank you for this timely post. Hope and optimism are needed at present. Worrying is not going to change the situation. Courage is necessary. Ephesians 3:20..” Now to him who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine…to Him be glory forever and ever.”


  3. Thank you, Andrew! My dear friend survived the horrid tornado of Wichita Falls, TX. After, all that remained of their home were the four closet walls surrounding their family of four, and they could look up to see the sky. Their house demolished. She said it was such chaos because all the street signs were down. They wouldn’t tell what street was what. And it’s just a huge reminder that no matter what goes on down here, we must look up. There is no chaos with God, and He never changes. I’m so grateful.

    Great post! Thank you for the reminder.

    Thank you, Jeanne, too~


  4. Great wisdom as always! I love that we have hope to cling too. I love your reminder to be prepared and take action. I work at a school, and practicing all our drills, really does make such a difference. We can pray for God to keep our hearts and minds prepared and at peace when chaos comes.


  5. Andrew, welcome. I don’t often comment, but I read your comments on other blogs and you always inspire me. Thanks for sharing.


  6. Great lessons on dealing with Chaos! These coming years are going to bring more. Thanks Andrew for ideas on preparing. Of course our first preparation must be building our relationship with God. Thanks for the reminder to practice our “drills”!


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