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Somewhere Along the Frayed Edges of Certainty

November 22, 2011

I remember certainty at the end of college.

Certainty about a job.

Certainty about my life’s calling.

Certainty about a place to live.

My apologies, college seniors who might be reading this.

I remember that feeling of stability in knowing that I was finally, finally going to get to go out into the world and do what I was made to do.  I was actually going to be the grown-up whose skin I’d been inhabiting since birth, and make my mark on the world.  It was more exciting for me than starting college. On that first morning drive to work, my adrenaline pumped faster than it had at any college parties or on any first dates.  I was so ready.  I was so certain.

But funny things happen along the way.  Certainty is an amazing gift, but the beauty of life is that we keep falling in love with it all over again.  And falling in love means changes and newness and antsy little wiggly feelings that get us excited and scared and nervous.  It sets us in motion.  It stares our certainty in the face, pushes it over like a schoolyard bully, and demands that we change our course of direction.  Falling in love with life means we are constantly seeing something new, something different, and we maneuver our way around in an awkward and strangely harmonious dance.  Falling in love isn’t boring.  So then, life is not meant to be boring.

Lately, I am watching my certainty get pushed around.  I am watching it get knocked over by new ideas and  a changing culture and the desire to keep growing.  I am wanting to leave stability behind.  I’m in a new season here, friends.  I am in unchartered territory.  My mind is playing games with me.  Dangerous, wild, destructively wonderful games about possibility and dreams and change.  My little blog makes me giggle inside.  My afternoons spent talking teenage drama with students makes me a tiny bit giddy.  Sitting on a sofa and having the opportunity to talk with college students brings my vocal range up a few notches.  Reading words, stunning life-altering words, and being able to talk about them – well, let’s just say I blush at the thought of it all.  There is so much to love.  I can’t possibly hold it in.

Where has my certainty gone?

Have my firmly fixtured feet lost their ground?

Do roots only come before wings?

I fall back on the still, small voice of one of the most beautiful literary characters I’ve ever met:

“There are a thousand thousand reasons to live this life, every one of them sufficient.”

Gilead,  Marilynne Robinson

I think I’m in the midst of discovering a new reason.

I don’t know what it is yet, but I hope it is sufficient.

Please Lord, may it be sufficient.

One Comment leave one →
  1. November 23, 2011 2:55 am

    Oh, this made me want to go hunt down my copy of “Gilead,” one of my all time favorite books ever, ever, ever. Loved reading about this growing sense of anticipation and hope as you ride the wave of whatever change you’re in the midst of riding. God bless you, encourage you, strengthen and enlighten you as you feel the rush of heading toward new shores.

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