I’m slowly becoming more okay with not knowing the future more definitively.
As I’ve reflected more recently, I’ve realized that I stopped making concrete plans for my life because all of the major plans I’ve made thus far have been significantly revised or completely abandoned in response to major events beyond my control.
It’s left me with mixed feelings about the notion of needing to plan my life.
Part of me thinks that with plans, I’m putting too much focus on a limited privilege to control what happens, and that without plans, I’m living aimlessly and reactively without sufficient vision or direction.
Thus, I’ve been trying to live somewhere in flux between these two approaches—I recognize though that I want the peace and freedom, respectively, that come with both of these worlds.
There’s definitely a sense of peace that comes with being absolutely certain about a plan AND a sense of freedom that comes with going with the flow without a plan. I don’t know that both of these are entirely possible together on these terms, but I do think that it’s reasonably possible to have both peace and freedom.
At least, I hope so.
For now, I’ve been less plan-oriented and more goal-oriented. I’ve got some solid goals to keep me grounded and some set routines for life, which include home, work, play, worship, etc. I trust that consistency in my routines will lead to an unknown but still desirable outcome.
To be clear though, none of the goals have corresponding plans that are strictly set in stone. While moving towards these goals, I am also anticipating the unanticipated and seek to adapt as is needed.
I don’t know how long these routines will last. As great as they all are, living in this house, working at this job, hanging out with these people, worshipping at this church, etc. are all subject to change because life happens.
Life comes along and jacks things up, and then I have to make the necessary adjustments to manage the aftermath. It seems to me that that’s how life goes.
Consequently, the peace and freedom that I have been finding is neither in having firm plans nor in being uncommitted to things but in taking life one day at a time, trusting that what I need will be supplied.
That sounds cliché—I get that. Something about it though has been helping me become more okay with not knowing exactly what’s next.
If I’m being honest, I have to admit that the peace can come and go, and the freedom can ebb and flow. Some days, I feel like I’m right where I’m supposed to be. Other days, I just wonder how I got here and where I’ll end up.
I was talking about these fluctuations with someone recently, someone who told me how encouraged he was by my blog because it always kept things so positive. He told me that, and I replied that I’d been wondering if I was being more cynical or pessimistic to be operating under the impression that things will not go as planned. In that moment, I deduced that the significant factor was hope.
I think it’s also hope that is helping me negotiate the varied challenges of not knowing, of abandoning former plans, of anticipating the unanticipated, of taking life one day at a time.
I think I’m becoming more okay with not knowing the future because of hope.
Even though life has jacked up my plans, even though I have more questions now than when I first began this blog, even though there’s much evil, hate, and fear to be overcome, my hope has never been lost.
I still have hope that there’s enough good and love to overcome all the bad stuff. I’m still hopeful that things will ultimately work out somehow.
Admittedly, I could be wrong about this. Again, I have no certainty about what the future holds.
Perhaps though, I don’t need to be right and know what’s to come. Maybe the peace and freedom can persist in the midst of not knowing, in the midst of believing and hoping and pursuing and adapting.
Dear God, I hope so.
Love Love Love,