When we lived in Carman, Manitoba we often drove into Winnipeg. I loved that hour-long drive; it was beautiful, restful and, except perhaps in the dead of winter, relaxing. There were no hills to climb, no treacherous crossroads to navigate, and only three bends in the road.  You knew it was time to anticipate a curve in the highway 20kms before it arrived.

Unfortunately, life is not mostly like a trip from Winnipeg to Carman. There are a lot more curves and dips in most lives. Sometimes there are so many twists and turns along the way that we lose all sense of direction. The traffic is zooming around us in all directions and confusing intersections abound.

Often, I do not know the best way forward. The journey can be confusing and feel utterly chaotic. It feels as if I am traveling in a thick fog, driving a car in which the wheels do not respond to the direction in which I steer and I am unsure if the breaks will function adequately if I need them.

If we insist on knowing exactly what is coming before we get there and feeling safe all along the way, we will never move forward.

It does not really matter if I think of my self as person of solid faith , an uncertain agnostic, or a complete atheist, I will only keep moving forward in life if I choose to trust in the process of the journey and give up my need to know what may be coming next. Life is full of uncertainty.

I can study the map all I want; but the information it provides is only of limited usefulness. I can ask advice from those who have traveled this road before; but, in the end, their journey is not my journey and their experience will never perfectly match my own. Even the modern marvel of the GPS can frequently let me down and, if I depend upon its wisdom exclusively, I may find myself going endlessly in circles.

How am I to make this uncertain journey?

I must begin by accepting that uncertainty is an unavoidable part of life. It does not matter how smart I am, how healthy I may be, or how wealthy or powerful I am, there are always going to be curves in the road that I did not anticipate and some of them are going to be treacherous.

No matter how small I make my life, or how much effort I expend trying to wrestle my circumstances into the order I desire, there is simply no way to escape the inevitability of the unpredictable and the unknowable.

In the face of all I cannot know, I need to stand still. Until I have some tiny shred of clarity about the right way forward, it is better to wait. I need to trust that, I will know what is the best next step when it is time to move. I cannot think my way into the best next move. I can only open and receive the wisdom of the moment.

Eventually, I will see the one thing right here, right now that I know to do. It may only be the smallest step. It may seem an utterly insignificant action at the time; but I will know that this one thing is the right thing to do. Then I need to cooperate with the one thing that is clear for me at this moment however insignificant and vague that clarity may seem at the time.

Doing the one right thing right here right now that is clear, prepares me for the next right thing to do when I get further down the unknown road.

If I am driving at night, I proceed as far as my headlights illuminate the road ahead. As long as I keep moving forward, my headlights will continue to show the way before me. If I stop here because I do not see what is coming beyond the light’s illumination, I will never move forward.

John the Gospel writer says,

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it. (John 1:5)

I can trust the light as far as it shines. It will shine further when I arrive again at the edge of darkness.

The only certainty is that the uncertain journey must proceed on the basis of trust. When I trust this moment; I will find trust waiting for me in the next moment and the moment after that. I do not get to see many kms. ahead, but the light of this moment is enough for right now.