Finding Freedom by Embracing Uncertainty
Does life feel overwhelming? Are things spinning out of control?
It wouldn’t be too surprising. After all, we are living through a pandemic, a presidential election, and the general stresses of life.
But let me gently suggest something: Could it be that part of the problem is not what is going on in the world but the way we approach the world? Perhaps our approach to avoid suffering and adversity, avoidance like burying our heads in our phones and keeping our eyes on Netflix, are what are keeping us in feelings of powerlessness. We check out and avoid opportunities for growth and the things in life that really matter.
I have a number of clients who are anxious, as I am, too. Often, we try to manage our anxiety by gaining enough understanding and certainty. The problem is that in the essential areas of our lives (or any area), there is no way to arrive at certainty. Life throws us many events that are both inside and outside of our control. I cannot become certain of anything. I could have an accident and lose any physical abilities and athleticism I have. I could cheat on my wife and create a whole slew of problems in my marriage. I could deny my faith when it matters most. But, let’s ask ourselves: is that uncertainty really a bad thing? If we felt totally secure, would we push ourselves to get better?
The truth is, when we seek certainty, we seek the unattainable, and that is why we continue to worry. Our brain is never satisfied because there are always variables beyond us that we cannot account for.
What if, instead of running from uncertainty, we turn around and face it head on? Much of the cure for anxiety is embracing uncertainty, whether that be a source of motivation, excitement, or opportunity. Have you met people who embrace uncertainty? Nothing rattles them. They are not swept up in mass hysteria because they are grounded in who they are and what they are about. If you can anchor your identity to God, the one thing that is unchanging and certain, even better! If you approach life from this perspective, there is nothing that can’t be overcome or adjusted to, and nothing is an overwhelming blow to who you are.
How can you embrace the uncertainty of the day? Maybe you could find it as an opportunity to grow, or choose to see life as a great adventure story written by a God who loves you. Step out in faith, even when you don’t know the outcome, and let the adventure begin!