jj and i had a family christmas on saturday night over by urbana. the actual location, according to google maps, is “middle of bufu ohio”. but have no fear, i married mr. gps himself who jotted down a few road numbers but took a “mental picture” of google maps.
we saw the same stretch of 33 no less than 4 times.
at first i was frustrated. i wanted to smack something. but when we saw 33 for the 3rd time jj finally let on that perhaps his mental map was a bit fuzzy.
then it got funny. it was manageable. we called my dad, he gave some directions that were impossible to follow, we turned right instead of left and all of a sudden we were where we were supposed to be. go figure.
the older i’ve gotten, (and if anyone is counting i’m about ready to step over one of those “old people” line markers in several months), the more i need a simple acknowledgement that things just aren’t wrapped up in nice, neat packages. the postmoderns of the world would talk about the lack of black & white and the need for gray (or grey, depending on if you have brittish blood). it’s not even that so much. for me, i’m realizing more and more the need for a humility that allows for the fact that i just. don’t. know. i don’t know what life will bring or how i will react. i don’t know why we turned right when the map said left. in the same vein, i don’t know what life is like for others and how they *should* act. i just don’t know.
we talked about this briefly on sunday with this new group of people i chat with at 9:15. some biblical scholar of counseling shared that at the beginning of the story of Job, he (Job) was in a position that somewhat felt he had a control over God. he knew how to work the system. he had it figured out. the smart guy on the video made a statement similar to “there’s nothing God hates more than when someone thinks they have it all figured out.”
so tonight i really enjoyed hearing from anne lamott in her book (plan b: further thoughts on faith): i remembered something Father Tom had told me – that the opposite of faith is not doubt, but certainty. Certainty is missing the point entirely. Faith includes noticing the mess, the emptiness and discomfort and letting it be there until some light returns.
now i know the verse that the good Christian will recite to me from hebrews about faith “being sure of what we hope for, things we have not seen”… but dare i revert to the hebrew meaning of “hope” which is, more literally, “wait”? if so… faith is simply waiting on things to come to fruition. it’s not knowing what you know. it’s knowing what you don’t know and being confident in a God who is bigger than the unknown.