I have been in a few conversations recently about when we can return to normal, about what re-opening our community might look like, about what lies ahead.
We are so in the dark about what the future holds.
The hard truth of the matter is that even during more normal phases of life none of us - not a one - know what the future holds.
But most of us have learned to navigate life as if we do.
So this uncertainty is especially disconcerting.
It forces us to be more thoughtful, more careful, more deliberate. At least it should ...
But we are not good at this.
Uncertainty causes anxiety.
The unknown creates dread.
Loss of routine brings disorientation.
And so we often try to control things; we move way too quickly to try to plan the future!
I was reading an article this morning that described this kind of uncertain time as a "threshold moment."
The author, Brandan Robertson writes this:
What are we to do at such a threshold moment?
In moments of transition, we are simply to be. We are to pause and acknowledge that a transition is taking place. Instead of seeking to abruptly pass through a threshold, we are to tarry ...
A new reality is emerging, but we cannot see beyond the threshold. All we know is that we exist in this moment, where everything is in transition. We may experience a new way of being, but we cannot yet sense what it will look like.
This force some questions:
Am I giving myself permission to just be during this threshold moment in history?
Am I choosing to take time to pause and acknowledge what is going on?
Am I allowing myself to tarry, which simply means "to remain, or to stay in place?"
Am I reminding myself that God is at God's best when I don't know what is coming?
When I am walking in the dark I focus on taking just one next step. Once I safely take that one, I take another. And then, just one more ...
This is what life needs to be for me right now.
Time to be - just to be - and to let that be enough.
Time to pause and acknowledge that we are living through a remarkable moment in world history. This is a threshold moment!
Time to tarry, to just stay in place; to not push forward to what's next.
Time not to plan 4,000 next steps, but simply to take the one next step I can see.
Just the one next step.
I love the words from this old hymn by John Henry Newman;
Lead, Kindly Light, amid the encircling gloom
Lead Thou me on!
The night is dark, and I am far from home --
Lead Thou me on!
Keep Thou my feet; I do not ask to see
the distant scene -- one step enough for me.
Just take one step today, my friends. And if that one step is to just "be" that is good enough for today.