Uncertainty is not the worst-case scenario

Uncertainty is not a worst-case scenario. Living in pain for a life unnecessarily might be.

Now, of course, life is not pain-free. There is not a version of life without pain, without conflict, or without hardship. In fact one of the most important things we can do as people of faith is learn to face pain, conflict, and hardship head-on. It is vital that we learn to live with some level of pain, to work through conflict, and to tolerate hardship. Otherwise we are fooling ourselves.

The kind of pain I’m describing is the kind that is unnecessary and avoidable. Should we make a change, it would not exist. Making that change, though, may give rise to some other problem or pain. That is the uncertainty piece.

Embracing uncertainty is difficult, but it can be an act of hope. It suggests that we’re willing to tolerate some pain, some discomfort, for a time in order to ensure a future where we are better suited to reflect God’s image because we’re not bogged down by pain. We have pain, but we are not bogged down. There’s a difference between having some pain or discomfort and being bogged down by it such that our ability to live as the kind of people we hope to be is compromised.

I am not suggesting you go out and end every relationship that causes you pain. I am suggesting that you consider whether a relationship or situation is /defined/ by the pain it causes. If so, it may be worth considering uncertainty.

Learning to prepare for uncertainty

It seems to me that, in this day and age, in our culture, people only become willing to address problems when a particular problem builds to the level of “crisis.”  I do not know why this is the case, other than the obvious explanation of convenience.  It’s simply inconvenient to be proactive about something that isn’t yet a /big/ problem.  Because I do not know exactly why this happens I also cannot make recommendations about how one changes this habit but, in spite of that, I do want to argue the importance of learning to prepare.  

It's impossible to prepare for all possible circumstances that may come our way.  It may even be impossible to prepare for circumstances that seem likely to come our way.  I do believe, though, that in some small, humble ways we can learn to view life itself as preparation for the unpredictable and the unknowable.  As we spend a few days talking about the importance of becoming process-oriented, I'd like us to begin to see preparation as a result in and of itself, rather than something we do only in order to achieve a result.