And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year:
“Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.”
And he replied:
“Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God.
That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way.
—“God Knows” by Minnie Louise Haskins (1875-1957)
Not THIS One, Please?
I don’t know why.
UNCERTAINTY kept coming to me for months as my potential One Word for 2021. I fought it. I wanted something more positive. Something more doable.
I circled around it with words like CURIOSITY or CHANGE or VULNERABILITY.
But each time, God would bring me back to UNCERTAINTY.
And so here I am. Uncertain about UNCERTAINTY.
Maybe it’s the perfect word for me after all.
“I don’t know”
I’ve definitely felt a lot of uncertainty the past year. Haven’t we all? The world doesn’t feel as safe as it once did. I’d like more answers, less questions. More security, less ambiguity.
But this is where we are. And uncertain is where I am.
I don’t know.
It’s a phrase I repeat a lot. And that I intend on repeating even more in 2021.
I’m looking for the good in not knowing. It’s in there somewhere. A certain value exists in knowing you don’t know.
- Not knowing can breed humility.
- It encourages new learning.
- It lays a foundation for more trust.
- It fosters dependence on God.
Month by Month, Walk Together
So as I step into this new year with an unwelcome word attached, I’ve made some goals. My monthly plan includes these ideas.
- I want to read Faith After Doubt.
- I want to re-read The Sin of Certainty and Being Wrong and Searching for Certainty.
- I want to accept the unknown by staying present.
- I want to be open to surprises, to live out of grace, to let go of being right.
- I want to stay in community.
- I want to make peace with uncertainty instead of trying to conquer it.
And I want more to trust God, not just my thoughts about God.
But I’ll hold these goals loosely.
Because what will happen next? . . . I don’t know.
My theme verses will be Proverbs 3:5-7. An abbreviated version from the Message is:
“Don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go. Don’t assume that you know it all. Run to God!”
So here I go, walking into the darkness of uncertainty.
But I am certain I won’t be walking alone.
Thanks to Lesley for introducing me to the beautiful poem at the top of the page. It’s commonly known as “The Gate of the Year.” Lesley says it’s quite common in the UK, but it its new to me in the States. Read the full poem here, “God Knows.”
How comfortable are you with uncertainty? Do you have One Word for the year? Share your thoughts in the comments.
If you want to join our monthly accountability group for your own One Word, here’s what we’ll be doing. We already have an active group on Facebook you also can join.
- How Aware Do We Want to Be?
- My Best News Yet for 2021