Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Living with Uncertainty

You're standing in a doorway. Not a doorway to a house, but a doorway to a train, or a motorhome, or maybe even the hatch to a big boat.

You have just arrived at your destination, and by all accounts it is an amazing place. But you've never been here before. So you're standing at the doorway, waiting for the train to stop at the platform, for the motorhome to pull into the driveway, for the boat to dock, because the moment you feel the motion under you stop, you are going to jump out and explore this new land!

The train stops. The motorhome turns its engine off. The boat anchors. You're now free to open the door and so you eagerly reach for the button, or the handle, or the lever. The door opens. The rays of sun hit your eyes, the chill of the cold fresh air attacks the nerves on your cheek. It's glorious.

But once the door is open, you don't run down the stairs or bound onto the platform as you'd imagined you would. You stand there, enjoying the rays of sun and the fresh air on your cheeks. You breathe deeply and sigh.

After a couple of minutes standing like that, the other passengers start to nudge you. They saw you anxiously waiting to land, pushing up against the door with urgency and anticipation, and now that you're here, you're not getting out. You turn around and SHHH them, telling them to enjoy the moment.

But then you start to wonder, Why haven't you gotten out? Why haven't you started to explore this new land that you've so anxiously awaited?

So you turn around and look into your little motorhome, or train car, or boat hold. You look at the things you know and are oh-so-tired of seeing: the same drab walls, the same smudged chairs, the same piece of paper eternally stuck under the leg of that same table with the same set of scratches. The artwork looks so familiar you could probably create it yourself, and the fact that the edge of that frame is chipped has never irritated you more than it does today. You are ready, oh so ready, for this new land!

Now the others in your group are rushing past you and disembarking. They've given up on giving you the coveted first-one-off status. Soon they will have left you on-board, all by yourself. You should get off.

What keeps you on this boat/train/motorhome? Are you (a) scared of what's out there? Are you (b) more in love with your drab familiar surroundings than you thought? Or are you (c) dreading the moment when the unknown mystery becomes, itself, familiar? (Or are you (d) thinking this is a silly illustration because you've already got off the boat like a normal person?!)

I suspect for me it's a little bit of all three, but I think option C is a huge part of it. I love the mystery. I like asking the questions. I love learning and I love the answers, but I probably love the unknown even more. This makes the days spent in transit to a new destination a fun adventure, and makes the arrival somewhat painful. I'm still going to walk down those stairs into the new world, but if I take slow steps then the unknown will last a little bit longer.

8 comments:

tara@pohlkottepress said...

for me it is usually that I hate to leave behind what I already know. I rarely find what I know as boring. I delight in the knowledge of things...but this too is something to overcome. One must get off in order to learn new things, have your heart opened in new ways.

Brian Miller said...

i love the mystery as well...i think for me that moments settles in a bit later when i realize i have met the mystery and will miss the aniticipation of it...i love the adventure to get there as well...

Nikki said...

I don't mind change, even unexpected. I enjoy the mystery of the unknown. What I struggle with is instigating it. suggesting we even go to the train in the first place. Once I'm on, I'm ready to go.
or so I think.
which is what I'll be doing now....

Jodi said...

I can relate to this. A very satisfactory read indeed. Thank you.

Kath said...

you have captured that moment of hesitation really well. i think i know it too.

ells said...

transitions and change are not my favorite...but every time I let go...take that step...feel the freedom...I know God leads every step...
Blessings~

emily wierenga said...

there is something about mystery, about not knowing... that helps motivate us, gives us meaning... i think it also helps me to worship, to believe in the eternal. love you kati. praying for a peaceful transition this christmas season. xo

journeytoepiphany said...

I love the mystery as well. The "not knowing" makes things so heavenly while we are earth bound.

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