Most of us like to plan our lives ahead. Whilst some personalities enjoy being impulsive, creative in the moment, responding to those around them, for the majority of our time most of us feel that too much uncertainty leads towards anxiety.
As I write this reflection we are eight days before March 29th. As you read this it will be March 28thor later. Harold Wilson’s famous quip about “A week being a long time in politics” has probably never felt quite so apposite.
Every day of our lives we never truly know what is ahead of us. We live all the time with certain levels of uncertainty. Major national political change definitely heightens our corporate sense of not knowing what is ahead, but on a personal level our lives always involve periods of particular unpredictability, doubtfulness or ambiguity about what may be next.
To live our lives fully we have to live with a certain level of hope, faith and trust. Without these other more negative emotions or anxieties can assail us and worsen the cost of uncertainty. The deeper question is to ask ourselves where, or in whom, we place such faith and trust: certainly good friends or a trusted family. Reciprocal love and faithfulness overcome and counter many fears or anxieties.
Questions about faith, trust and hope go beyond this, though. Is there a God in whom I can trust? Christian ministry has opened to me that this is not fundamentally an intellectual question. Rather it is a very practical and relational question. Faith, trust and hope are only real when they are experienced. The only way to learn to swim is to get into the pool of water. No matter how many books one reads about swimming none of it compares to the value of actually splashing around and safely giving it a go. This is the only way, too, that we discover the faith, trust and hope that I believe is on offer from our loving God.