As I reflect on 2015, amidst the moments of inspiration, fun and beauty, there has been a certain sense of uncertainty. I feel it, I hear about it, I read of it in the news. Increasing unemployment, the ever present threat of terrorism, sweeping political change…. it can feel as if we are living on the edge…..like a baby bird being pushed from it’s comfortable nest!
Uncertainty for most people, is a difficult, sometimes depressing or anxious place to be. I’m not sure I will ever be completely comfortable with uncertainty, but I have discovered a few truths about uncertainty that have helped me to keep calm and carry on.
Uncertainty is often a door to opportunity. I recently heard a speech given by the former Principal of McGill University, Heather Monroe-Blum. The introduction she was given was more than ten minutes long, recounting her long list of credentials, contributions and accomplishments over the course of her career. Wow….what a woman! As she then addressed my daughters graduating class of Western University, I found myself enamored by her humility as she recanted her path of seeming failures and seasons of uncertainties that ultimately lead to incredible opportunities. Through it all she kept calm and carried on. Her final words to the adoring crowd came from the lyrics of a popular song ‘you can’t always get what you want, you can’t always get what you want, you can’t always get what you want, but if you try, try, try, you’ll get what you need.’
Stay True To Your Core Convictions. Life is dynamic not static. Just when you think you might have things figured out the target moves, the rules change, the culture embraces a new paradigm. In those times of uncertainty, let your convictions be your guide. Mark Batterson writes in his new book, If: Trading Your If Only Regrets for What If Possibilities, ‘your convictions are the truest thing about you. You are your convictions. Or more accurately, you become your convictions.’ In other words, no matter what life brings your way, if you stay true to your core convictions, you will become the person you were created to be. No if’s, and’s or but’s about it.
One day, this past summer, as my husband and I sat on our patio, we were privileged to watch four baby Robbins as they found the courage and resolve to leap from the nest. It started with one baby standing on the edge of the nest, watching it’s mother fly from the nest to a tree nearby, chirping for it to follow. Over and over she would fly back up to the nest and out to the tree to show how it was done. Finally, the baby followed. From there she led the way to a tree a little further out in the yard. As it followed, she flew to another tree further in the nearby forest. One by one her babies overcame their uncertainties to experience worlds they had never known and become who they were created to be.
I pray the best for you and your family for 2016. And in those times when uncertainty is certain, keep calm and carry on.