Saturday, May 9, 2015

What To Do When You Don't Know What To Do

The most important thing about you may very well be what you do when you don't know what to do.

We hate those moments of uncertainty, or at least I do . I work hard to make sure that I don't end up in situations that might expose me as someone who doesn't know what to do. Nothing is more humbling or more aggravating that not knowing. But what if those moments are so important that God not only allows them to happen, but actually orchestrates them? Old Testament scholar Walter Brueggeman thinks that might be the case. He wrote that sometimes, "the world for which you have been so carefully prepared is being taken away from you, by the grace of God."

Why would it be grace for God to pull us out of our comfortable, predictable lives? Here are a couple of thoughts:

1)When I'm uncomfortable or uncertain, I listen

When I know the answers, and have life under control, I don't listen. I don't need to. But when my certainty is gone, I am eager to hear something other than my own thoughts. I listen to friends. I listen to co-workers. I read to listen to voices from the past. I even stop long enough to listen to my own heart, which I also ignore when everything is comfortable. Listening is an important discipline, but we very rarely practice it.

2)When I'm uncomfortable or uncertain, I am open to more options

When everything is comfortable and predictable I don't think about other ways to do things. I am perfectly fine with life the way it is. That's not always bad, but eventually we have to explore other ideas and paths in life. New options to old problems can bring new motivation and eventually greater confidence. More churches have died from "doing things the way we've always done it", than almost anything else. 

3)When I don't know, I am less likely to act alone.

Let's face it, not all of us play well with others. Many of us would never partner with others to solve problems if we could somehow solve them on our own. Being faced with an unknown or seemingly unsolvable problem makes me reach out to others. When we reach out to others we realize that there's more to life than solving problems and making money. We find peace in the journey of life, not just the destination. Relating to others teaches us things we could never learn alone.

So, if your life has taken an unpredictable and uncomfortable path, don't panic. This could very well be the start of something extraordinary in your life. Hang in there. Call a friend and listen to the voices you have been ignoring, you'll be glad you did.

Photo Courtesy of Death To Stock Photo

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