The last few weeks have been challenging for me, and I have felt the awkward stretching that comes sometimes when change is upon us. There is this desire to be certain of things, to know what lies ahead, to make nothing but informed decisions, and to navigate the consequences with aplomb. We want to understand the right way to go about things, to think about things– the proper way to perceive, and to know.
Today I walked uncertainly through a stand of trees, then moved to the chair by the window, then reached for a snack, a glass of water, a handful of something salty, walked down the driveway to get the mail, then come back to the window. All the while I was half-built, half-open, half-shaded, half-suffering, half-teetering. Eventually though, my gnawing disdain for things I cannot even touch began to feel like an opening.
I wonder sometimes at how few are the voices of uncertainty. It’s not very attractive, of course, being uncertain. We become more easily influenced when we’re unsure of ourselves, and yet when we’re too bold or insistent in the act of forging ahead, we miss what is given. Uncertainty doesn’t sell tickets, or advertising, earn contracts, or influence people. We avoid it at all costs– it’s not on television, but it’s in us. It’s right there sometimes. It’s wearing us around, jabbing us up in the air on the end of its stick. Even a wetsuit is too far out on the periphery to shield us from what is blooming within.
But now that I’ve seen it, things are okay.
Now that I’ve seen it for what it is, I can work with it. I can be uncertain, and go for the ride. Rides end.
I don’t particularly want to retain a few of the things this uncertainty has revealed to me, and I can see that. I can also see the barriers to letting them go. In beautiful words given me by a friend, I can see that I am in a struggle with truth. I’m not lost or off track. I’m just right at the middle of it. Down to the point of entanglement, mystery, and superposition. I’m arm-wrestling with what is glorious and most natural, and hasn’t fully been birthed as of yet. Truth and I, we want the same things, but some part of me still wants just a little bit more, a little something else.
I want the truth, and…
I want to show God my earthly thesis– to come home with something beautiful, not return with a box of dust and an army-man I spray-painted once in second grade. God doesn’t care of course. The door is always open. This is what I mean. But there are so many confident people who have this figured out, and wouldn’t it make sense that if I had a clue about something– anything– I would be able to sustain that, too. But just now, my heart has a wobble.
The Earth has a wobble.
My heart has a wobble like the Earth. It’s a true wobble. The beauty is in the awareness that I can trust it.
There’s something holy about these encounters with ourselves. These are the times when the heart and the mind re-order themselves and become smeared into the world so deeply we are suddenly grasping at all three. We need, sometimes, to be uncertain, so that the new can emerge. And never am I more confident in the logic of my heart than when I recognize the difficulty in which I have found myself is, in fact, the quickest way through. Confusion is the answer that grace has brought. It is the string being pulled out of the knot.
It’s time to take a few more lines out of the resume. I’m working back to the blank sheet of paper. Who would I be, if I wasn’t who I’ve been? At peace, probably. The only way to find out is to find out. I feel okay because I know uncertainty is like a little film of color that floats on a deep and abiding knowing. It seems very massive, but it is more like a mirage.
I’m thirsty because I’m walking through a desert mirage and I believe what I see sometimes, but it is the thirst that will lead me to water. This I know.