Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Certain Uncertainty

I live right by the Fraser River and drive parallel to its banks on my commute. It's a beautiful drive, with a stunning view of mountains and forested hills, leading down to the powerful currents of the murky river. But being near to a river located in the green-and-grey climate of British Columbia means I am often driving in a fog. This fog can become so thick that I can barely see a few feet ahead of me, particularly at night. I am rushing into the unknown, and even though I am familiar with the route, I am often anxious with the feeling of driving in the blind.

Seth Godin wrote this the other day about our inability to see ahead:
Unpredictable isn't precisely the same as random. We can certainly make dumb choices, we can suffer from being unprepared, we can be the victim of bad judgment too. The essential thing to remember, though, is that every project is the work of a thousand generations, of decisions leading to decisions, of the unpredictable outcomes that come from human interactions.
I suppose it struck me because while the immediate future seems fairly certain (I will go brush my teeth and get ready for bed upon completing this blog post) and our eternity is secure in Christ, (I preached about our certain hope for the future this past Sunday), it's the not-so-distant-but-not-particularly-close future that makes life uncertain and unexpected.

I never expected to be married at age 21. But I was.

I never expected to move to Arizona. But I did.

I never expected to have two books published before the age of 30. But here they are.

I never expected to move to Canada. But here I am.

Life is unpredictable, but it's not random. Which brings me to two practical thoughts about how to live in this unpredictable life:

1. Remember that my choices matter. My present-day decisions will have consequences and cause ripple effects, ones that are vastly unpredictable. Good or bad, wise or foolish, my choices matter. They lead to outcomes that go beyond the direct action.

2. God is in control. Even when the future, immediate and otherwise, is presently uncertain, God is still calm and ready. So perhaps I should be less surprised when I find myself surprised, and less worried when I find myself anxious about the unknown. It's unknown to me. It's not unknown to Him.

Even when I am driving into the fog, there is a God who sees clearly. I am still learning to trust Him.

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