There is an insatiable desire to “know.” Maybe it is because knowledge brings comfort or peace, or maybe even a sense of control. I am learning…let me emphasize LEARNING…to be okay with not knowing. I am not philosophizing here. I am talking about real life.
Planning comes naturally to me, but sometimes implementing the “plan” does not always play out the way I originally hoped. This used to bother me. Somehow I got it into my head that if the plan failed then I failed, or if it took me longer to accomplish X,Y, or Z then the time I spent must have been a waste.
What I am discovering is that the planning is part of the processing even if the plan never carries through as intended. I create lesson plans for my daughters every week. Sometimes I follow through with those plans to a T (rarely), but lessons much like life are more organic than that. I planned for us to do our Monday nature study on birds, but yesterday morning was overcast and there was hardly a bird to be found. So, we looked at some birds in our field guide and drew Northern Cardinals. When it got sunny again, we took a walk and then had lunch under the hackberry tree. The day turned out better than I even planned!
James tells us, “we do not know what tomorrow will bring.” Does this mean that we quit planning? Nope. It simply means that we quit assuming.
…quit assuming that everything will go as planned.
…quit assuming that we are the master of our destiny.
…quit assuming that the plan is the purpose.
…quit assuming that we know what the purpose even is.
When we quit assuming we are then set free to rest in our Sovereign God who declares “the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done,” who says, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose…’ (Isaiah 46:10).
Some days are HARD. There are those days when everything just seems off and we question what we are even doing. We want answers. Solutions. Results. And if we are honest, we want to see the end to validate the choices we are currently making. Not everything is black and white, cut and dry.
So we pray. We plan. We take steps of faith. We make mistakes. There are wins and there are losses. We learn to accept “not knowing” the end from the beginning, but knowing the One who does. When we are asked, “What are you going to do about such and such or so and so?” we learn to say, “I don’t know about tomorrow, but for the time being…” And then we let the peace of Christ rule our hearts. It is what we must do.
I am learning to be okay with not knowing. I am learning to be okay with not having an answer to questions regarding my children’s education, my career, how I plan to “balance it all,” or where I’ll be in ten to fifteen years. What I can say is that for the time being this is where I am, learning, growing, struggling, and processing. I think it is funny how 40 is the new 80 as if turning 40 is when you truly arrive with a wealth of wisdom to extend to the world. I don’t see it this way. There is so much more to learn, suffer, and understand. The plan is not the purpose. It is just a plan. The purpose…our purpose will unfold over a lifetime through celebration and through pain, through expectations and through surprises. We come into this whole thing so confident only to see over time that we had no idea what we were getting into. And yet there is One who knows. HE KNOWS! And His glory is the purpose. Let that be our aim as well.