There are some things I am certain of.
When everything else is in flux, and I am not sure what part of the life plan is supposed to come next, there are some things that remain.
This is the revelation that hit me as I walked; me and my dog, muddy feet and muddy paws splashing down paths as spring sprang around us in the trees. As I looked up and watched branches budding velvet silver, it was like it was writ large in the season-turning just for me. Catkins bursting into yellow flame and illuminating it all golden.
Because sometimes, I need to be reminded that it’s often just the shift in perspective that makes everything feel like it’s shifting from under my feet.
They say the only constant in life is death, and that nothing ever stays the same. That changes come when we least expect it and often in the most unexpected ways. Sometimes it’s good. Often it’s not. Nearly always, it can make us feel unsettled, unsure, afraid. We move house, or town or country. We change jobs. People we thought would be in our lives forever are lost, or leave, or die. Change comes in many forms and in many ways.
I don’t know about you, but I’m not good with uncertainty. Which is not a great trait for someone who is also fairly easily bored. So, if things sit still for too long, I get restless. Twitchy. Itchy-feeted in the extreme. But then when things start to move and change – unless I know the exact game plan all laid out in advance and to the T, I can feel myself again twitching, although not this time out of restlessness.
You see, I want to move on, do the next thing, and the next and the next, but I also preferably want to be certain what that next thing is. Wholly and completely and can I know it all right now please God?
And in all of that, I am so caught up in trying to make the right decision, the best decision – not only for myself now, but for our whole family unit – that I end up paralysed. ‘I’m so unsure‘ I rant. ‘I need clearer direction, clearer instructions, a more detailed map.’
I love the line from Baz Lurhmann’s ‘Sunscreen’, although it also terrifies me half to death as well.
The real troubles in your life are apt to be things
That never crossed your worried mind
The kind that blindsides you at 4 p.m. on some idle Tuesday
I try to recall it’s wisdom as I stamp along well-trodden paths, past water-logged meadows and gaggles of geese floating on flooded fields.
Try to remember that almost certainly, worrying about what comes next, about the whys and wherefores of changes is almost always a complete and utter waste of time and energy. And as I do, I remember this too:
“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” ( The Bible. The book of Hebrews, chapter 11, verse 1 )
I have a faith. In a Creator God who loves me, and who holds me fast, and who works out all things for the good of those who love Him. And that faith means I am sure of what I hope for, and certain of what I do not see.
I may not know what step comes next, but I am certain that God guides my path in all righteousness.
I may not know what changes are ahead for us, but I am certain that this life will be a life well lived if I live it all for the glory of God above.
I may not know how to ‘be’ in the midst of change as well as I should, but I am certain that I am being transformed daily by the renewing of my mind, so as to be more like Christ.
There are so many things that I am certain of, and fixing my eyes on them seems to suddenly make all of the uncertainties fade to black as I tilt the lens one more time and adjust the angle of my focus. When I choose to view the uncertainties in my life through a lens of trust and obedience, the perspective shifts once more and my footing becomes sure beneath me again.
It’s the miracle of God that brings the blessing of peace to hearts that are troubled and minds that are not still.
I turn and walk back along the path, dog bounding by my side and geese hooting spring calls over the water and fields and trees.