Uncertainty Breeds Opportunity

If We Let it

By: Marcy Barthelette

I awoke with a start to total silence, disoriented for a moment, then I heard our neighbor’s generator kick in and I knew….our power was out! A dozen snapshots flashed through my brain in an instant. Why is this happening now rather than during our storm of a few days ago! How long will it last? It’s Sunday morning and we need to get ready for church. But I can’t see a thing in my bathroom. I need the battery powered lanterns. And the hair dryer won’t work! It’s best to grab breakfast at a fast-food restaurant on our way, rather than opening our refrigerator. Did some foreign power hack our system? OK…maybe that’s a little “out there” but in our current world it is certainly not beyond the realm of possibility.

We want certainty, but the only certainty is the lack thereof. Max Lucado

Let’s face it, we all have a tendency to want or need to control everything around us. I’m one of the worst, but I’m here to tell you that there is an order to this world that is always controlled by God. We can often convince ourselves that we did it our way, but if we’re honest, we didn’t.

We can’t take control, because control is not ours to take. Max Lucado

I recently referred to my journey in writing as having begun on a very structured plane. I tended to work several weeks ahead and that may have been a carry-over from my advertising days when everything was accomplished on deadlines set weeks or months earlier. Lists and outlines were the meat of my playbook in those days. There was lots of advance prep for holidays or special events and that still holds true. I can’t ignore Lent or Advent, but I must admit to overlooking some of the one-day holidays now that I’ve adopted a new and more spontaneous approach to writing.

The thing is that when I adhere to a strict calendar of events, I may miss opportunities to hear the Lord whisper new ideas or challenges, ones that may be relevant to someone out there I don’t even know. Maybe someone needs to hear a particular message. Maybe another needs comfort or perhaps even courage. If I constantly rely on my organized thoughts, I may walk right past a road sign pointing me in a new direction God chose for me, one that may be more meaningful or exciting.

The simple truth is that a novelist doesn’t know how a story will end when it’s just beginning. Characters are developed, a setting is determined, an opening scene sets the wheels in motion, but the story develops in stages and builds to a surprising climax if well written. In essence, the same is true with a short article. It may stem from just a few words expressed by a friend, the pastor offering a sermon, or a deeply moving song lyric. Those words blossom into an idea that when given enough freedom and solid traction, can take off on a journey the writer never imagined in the beginning. And like the writer, we just have to open our minds to letting go of the uncertainties in our lives and accepting the fresh opportunities.

Don’t let an unknown ending keep you from beginning….uncertainty is God’s way of inviting us to join Him. Bob Goff, Live in Grace, Walk in Love

Oh, and that power outage I mentioned gave me time to wander out to the deck on a beautiful morning, with none of my devices, and soak in my surroundings. The sun provided just the right temperature, the flowers showed off their colors and swayed gently in the breeze. The birds were singing, a squirrel chattered, some bunnies hopped (our back yard has become a wildlife sanctuary since the huge dog behind us left), and it couldn’t have been a more perfect start to the day. An hour later, silence once again caught my attention. The generators were off, I glanced inside and saw fan blades whirling on my living room ceiling. My respite ended and life was back to normal. I’m glad I didn’t miss my opportunity to revel in the incredible beauty of God’s creations by clinging to my uncertainty of a little thing called electrical power.

My eyes are fixed on you, Sovereign Lord; in you I take refuge. Psalm 141:8

(All Lucado quotes are taken from Anxious for Nothing and reprinted in You Can Count on God.)

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