Unknowns tend to cloud my thinking.
Like a thick cloud, unknowns hang just above the forefront of my mind, with a heaviness that clouds my mental and discerning capacities.
Why is the unknown so weighty, when there is nothing of substance there? It’s lack of knowing becomes the breeding ground for drops of “what-ifs.” They hang with weighty substance on the mind that does not know…
Humanity knows more than ever before. All the world’s knowledge lies at our fingertips, and still, we walk in a weighty, shifting world of unknowns.
Becoming an adult seems to require this sort of all-knowing wisdom in regard to making decisions. It starts with, “What are you going to do with your life?” and continues with an endless ladder of next questions, presenting life as a simple series of well-thought-out decisions. But what if we make the wrong one?! The last thing any young (or old) adult wants to hear from his parents is, “I told you so!” This is his time to prove that he knows what to do, that he’s capable of being a grown-up, that he is in control.
Beloved, we often confuse grown-up living with a proud independence that rejects God. We present maturity as a state of being in control and making all the right decisions so that nothing bad ever happens… In essence, in order to mature, we must function as our own god.
But how can we? With all the knowledge of the world at our fingertips, we are still plagued with unknowns!
Nobody knows when they will die, or when a loved one might die, or when they might see or experience loss of some kind. Nobody knows what faction of terrorists is going to rise to the surface as our next greatest threat. Nobody knows what President Trump will say next, or what decision the governments are making. Nobody knows if they will be able to bear children or if they will give birth to a child with special needs. Should I parent this way or that way? Use this technique or that technique?
Nobody knows the unknowns.
The audacious pride of our culture suggests that we are all-knowing and can, therefore, be in control of our lives, as little gods.
The secret behind the endless supply of global knowledge in our day is that life is still full of unknowns.
STEPPING INTO THE UNKNOWN
My world is a windstorm of unknowns these days. Making decisions this Fall has been trying, and yet important decisions have to be made regarding my family and my future.
How do I make important decisions in this season? How do I walk into the unknown “by faith and not by sight?” (2 Corinthians 5:7). How do I exercise maturity and adult well when the journey is clouded with unknowns?
HUMILITY LEADS TO KNOWING
I place a high value on learning and knowing, (as we all do in the information age we’ve been raised in). Still, no amount of earthly knowledge can stand up against life’s unknowns. No matter how long we study leadership models, the heart still tumbles in the face of betrayal. No matter how well we’ve learned to manage our finances, no amount of economic brilliance can shield us from the realities of an unexpected diagnosis.
It is our character that prepares us for the unknowns, not our knowledge. And it is humility that moves us forward, not the audacious pride of thinking we are in control and can have it all together.
Maturity in adulthood has a lot more to do with surrender, humility, patience, and a willingness to trust a Sovereign God who reigns over this world of messy unknowns.
I want to learn and grow and develop and improve… all the while knowing that knowledge begins at the Father’s feet. It is there that I learn understanding. It is there that I learn wisdom. It is the posture of a child that teaches me how to walk and live in a messy world with peace and authority, and a transcendent destiny, that moves me forward.
”The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.” Proverbs 1:7
Father, “my times are in your hands” (Psalm 31:15). “Before I’d ever seen the light of day, the number of days you planned for me were already recorded in your book” (Psalm 139:16). You know the way through the unknowns of this life. As I make my plans, I surrender to you as the Lord who “determines [my] steps” (Proverbs 16:9). You are God, and I am not. You know all, and I do not. Teach me in this season of shifting sands. Lead me and guide me along the path toward everlasting life.