Bible is full of people setting out into the unknown, and
only with their faith in the goodness of the God who led
them there. Here is Noah, getting started on the ark while
the sun is still shining and there isn't a cloud in the
sky. There is Abel offering a sacrifice of grain instead
of meat without quite knowing why, foreshadowing a people
that would leave hunting and gathering and become farmers.
And there are Abram and Sarah, old and childless, absurdly
promised an inheritance of children more numerous than
the stars, and believing it.
Today going somewhere where you have not gone before--that is a scary thing
to do. To do something new, something you have not done before--it
know about doing something new. They were once carefree
people. They were once the masters of themselves, without
someone depending on them for
life itself. They were not born knowing how to be the awesome people parents
must become, and I don't imagine they learned much about it before it came
upon them. Unless they went to schools that were a lot more thorough than
the ones most of us went to.
you remember, as I do, the strangeness of parenting
at first? Did you count the baby's toes, just to be sure there were ten?
Did you awake in fear at a cough that was new, call your
mother at the appearance
of a strange rash, worry excessively about the relative merits of different
brands of strained carrots? Did you feel sometimes, as I did, late one
night, before becoming a mother for the first time, that
you just were not ready
for this? "I can't do this," I sobbed in sheer panic, and a stern voice
within me said, "But you're going to."
church knows about this too. We all do. To all
of us there come these moments in life: moments when it
is clear that
we must move forward in something quite new about which
we know very little.
of our great sources of pain and fear is this: Most of
the important things about which
we must decide in life are things about which we know
next to nothing.
if the new job I have been offered is not right for me?
if the sweetheart I think I know so well
changes into someone else?
if I am not cut out to be mother or a father?
if my family
the strain of a grandmother moving in with
if it all doesn't work out?
is no way to know the outcome to any dilemma without going
through it. But you have to decide yes or no before you
have the benefit of this knowledge.
we take a deep breath and choose, and
then we live with the choice. No wonder we are nervous.
can't wait until all the data is in before deciding on
something new in your life. All the data cannot be in until
you've gone ahead and done it. Then you know, and not until
there may be good reasons for deciding not to take a new
path in life, the fact that you have never
done such and such a thing before, is not one of them.
All of the things we do now were once new to us.
are not impelled into new actions solely by the force of
logic and experience. We are, finally, impelled into them
we may not know the outcome of a course upon which we embark,
we know this:
does not leave us to figure it out alone.
is prepared to bless and guide the courses we choose,
longs to pour peace and serenity over our anxious souls
when we must choose.
this mean, then, that our choices will always be the right
ones? No, we're not that good
with God's help and God's truth, there is a way to see
the truth about where we are and where we're
heading, and if we can see the truth we can speak
if we can speak the truth to God, and to those
who love us, we can find within ourselves the courage to
truth, however new and unfamiliar that truth may
Copyright © 2003
Almost-Daily eMo from the Geranium Farm, e-mail
messages sent by Episcopal priest and writer Barbara
Crafton. Crafton's eMo's are published in book form
her Web site at http://www.geraniumfarm.org