On Being a Chaos Muppet


3921601Richard Termine/PBS.org


I’ll be the first to admit it. And my husband and family will quickly affirm it. I am a Chaos Muppet. In a world of Berts and Ernies, Big Birds and Oscars, I am definitely and undeniably a Cookie Monster.

This realization came when I discovered the concept of Muppet Theory a couple months ago A friend posted a link to this article, and since then, it has redefined my understanding of human interaction and heightened my awareness of myself. In short, Muppet Theory has changed my life.

Muppet Theory classifies individuals into two essential groups—Order Muppets (those controlled, steady, responsible characters like Bert and Kermit) and Chaos Muppets (their eclectic, unpredictable, cookie-crumbed counterparts in the likes of Gonzo and Grover). My husband is the classic definition of an Order Muppet, and I suppose, if I’m entirely honest with myself, I’m not so much Cookie Monster as Miss Piggy to his Kermit.

It has taken me a lifetime to understand and finally accept this about myself.

I’ve always been the messy one, easily inspired and just as easily distracted. Today I’m experiencing a type of karma as I live through my daughter’s same penchant for a messy bedroom that doubles as a gallery for half-completed projects. (I must confess that even as I write, I have a vintage dress--bought on a whim at Goodwill—waiting for me to remake the skirt so I can wear it to a wedding this weekend. Here’s betting that’s not going to happen.)

So growing up I always chafed when I heard people say that “God is a God of order.” I remember distinctly the discomfort that started at the top of my spine, ran the length of my body, and finally settled somewhere in the pit of my stomach. “God is a god of order. God is god of order. God is a god of order. And you, my dear, simply are not orderly.” The weight and judgement hung over me and rather than rejoice in this aspect of His character, I always found it a condemnation of mine.

You are a messy. You don’t measure up. You are a failure.

To resolve this conflict, I instead found comfort in being eccentric and reveled in poems like Robert Herrick's Delight in Disorder. After all, who wants perfect when you can have alluring? Why be on time when you can be interesting?

But a funny thing’s happened since my then, since living with my organized husband for eleven years, since having children and trying to run a household. I have come to love order. We moved recently and, in the process, lost all identifiable structure--believe it or nor, I’m going crazy. Today, I crave schedules and systems precisely because I know how much I need them.

In coming to understand the value of orderliness, I’ve also come to understand the value of a God who is orderly. Now instead of finding it a judgment, I find it a comfort. Because as much as His character calls me to be like Him, even more, it compensates for me when I am not.  And so just like my husband takes care of me when it comes to paying bills and making sure that I’m in the right place at the right time; God’s orderliness takes care of me in a much more profound way.

Because there is no such thing as being misplaced by an orderly God. There is no such thing as His mercy showing up too late. And there’s no way He’s going start a project—like the remaking my soul—only to leave it lying around forgotten and undone.

He is a God of order, after all.