I’m writing this to myself. This is because I have no idea where I’m going next.
So here are some helpful reminders for me, and anyone else who’s losing sleep thinking, “What happens now..?”
1. This is when the whole “faith” thing actually matters.
I’ve heard myself talk about faith on radio. It was pretty convincing. I think I said things about how, ultimately, we have to trust God, or we don’t really have anything at all, anywhere, to depend on. And how lonely is that?
I also remember me saying that God does things that don’t make sense to us, perhaps quite deliberately. He likes it this way, because, when we emerge on the other side (wherever that is) it’s obvious Who gets the credit.
So do I really live this “faith” thing, or just talk about it? It’s easy for me to talk about it when I’m comfortable. When I’m not, when I’m stressed, when I why in the world God lets me be responsible for others, like my family – THIS is when the faith thing actually counts.
So do I trust God, or not?
2. People say they want a “life of adventure”. Adventures don’t happen without uncertainty.
It’s the difference between going on the “Pirates of the Caribbean” ride, and actually being a pirate.
One has a guaranteed outcome: You get out of the boat safely and walk into the gift shop and maybe buy a sticker. But that’s not a great story.
The one where you set sail, don’t know what’s coming next, or where you’ll wash up in two years? Now that’s a story. Probably lots of great stories.
So which would I rather live? I don’t want to court uncertainty for the sake of uncertainty, but there’s a yearning for adventure, and that doesn’t come with a timed script and a gift-shop.
3. God is so good, He’ll allow us to mess things up.
Most of us know what it’s like to roil with regrets – “Did I make the right choice? Should I have done this differently? If only…” – when we lose our seeming security.
But perhaps God really IS good. So good, that He’ll make something beautiful out of it. Once, my son threw a fit of frustration, and wrecked our Lego tower. He felt terrible. What had he done? He got straightened out.
And then we built an even better one.
I did this because I love him. And I like him. I like Lego towers, too.
Someone once told me, “God can unscramble eggs.” I thought that sounded like an easy cliche, or a just-so statement. Maybe it is, I don’t know. But it’s true.
4. There actually is no such thing as “security”.
Truly. It’s an illusion. So you have a steady job, you own your home, you have no debt?
Wonderful. Seriously. That’s great.
…and then an oncoming driver looks down, for a blink of an eye, to read a text.
There is no “security” beyond what God promises us. And this is the Creator who warned us about thinking we were “secure” because of our circumstances. It’s a lie, and now, when things are so seemingly, suddenly “insecure”, is a great time to remind ourselves.
5. I didn’t want to be in control, anyway.
I have a story I’m fond of telling. Now I need to tell it to myself:
When we lived in Houston, and our kids were small, we buckled them in for a car ride.
We drove all over the place. A bunch of errands. Stopping here and there. I’d get out, or Carolyn would get out, run into the grocery store, or the bank, or whatever. One stop after another.
Then we were on the freeway. There were red and blue lights, and a siren noise, and then our car stopped, and a strange man came to our window and talked sternly to me. I signed some papers, and then we took off again.
Finally, a heard a little voice from the backseat:
“Yes, Julia…?” I could see her in the rear view mirror, buckled into her little seat.
“Um… Where are we going?”
She had no idea. I hadn’t told her. All this time, all this activity, and she’s just buckled in, riding around, clueless about what the heck we’re doing.
“Honey, we’re going to the rodeo!”
I thought about that for awhile: How can a person be buckled in, get carted to who-knows-where, watch all the action she doesn’t understand, and… be okay with it?
She doesn’t need to know where she’s going.
Because she trusts the driver. And she knows the driver, after all… loves her.