Friday, October 23, 2015

Negotiating Uncertainty - Gibson

When you read this, Canada’s general election will be over. But since this is a newspaper column, I'm writing it a few days, live from the state of Uncertainty. As it often does in other circumstances – health, relationships, transitions, for instance, it has opened its gate and summoned our country in. Me, too.

For over four years, at my workplace in town, I have had the privilege of serving a good man. An honest politician (and, thank God, there are many of those). But after twenty-two years on Ottawa’s Parliament Hill, he has come home to stay. A new Member of Parliament will serve our riding. That means we all begin new chapters; our country, our riding, my boss, my co-workers and me. Like a previously unread book, the pages remain as unfamiliar as the current look in the offices we’ve worked in all these years. I barely recognize the local one.

As have many political staffers across the country, we’ve sorted, shredded and packed. Vacated desks and emptied bookshelves. Moved everything out, flipped off the lights and turned the keys one last time. The place echoes now, all evidence of its most recent occupants erased. No big desks or ringing phones. No maps on walls or flags in corners. No plants flourishing in the windows. And no more constituents calling or visiting to ask for help.

There’s a funny thing about the state of Uncertainty. On sunlit days it seems fairly negotiable. People smile. Say hello. Wish each other the best. Even pray together sometimes. In sunshine, in Uncertainty, happy endings feel almost certain.

But Uncertainty has a seamy side. Shady characters walk its streets at night. Gangs of negative thoughts cluster like vermin and twist their knives in the gut of worriers. Neck-craning anxiety patrols thought trails, shooting fretful darts and firing unanswerable questions. Sleep is banned. In my previous visits to Uncertainty, I’ve faced all of that. Likely you have too.

“What’s next for Canada?” people ask each other. “What’s next for you?” friends ask me. By the time you read this, we’ll all have some answers – and many more questions.

My earlier visits to Uncertainty have taught me something, though. When I stop pouting, cowering and conniving and start praying, I remember that though I am only one small person, I have one big God. He has unfailingly proven himself trustworthy, even when hovering on the jagged escarpment of bewilderment and despair.

As I said before, I’m writing live from the state of Uncertainty. A frightening place, where faith in God is mandatory to maintain the keeping of inner peace. Because for those with faith, the state of Uncertainty becomes a corridor to great opportunity. A place to shuck fears, take action and grow stronger in our faith. A place to remember that the God is bigger than any state, especially the state of Uncertainty. That all authority over government (add disease, finance, relationships, life…) hoped for or not, rests on his shoulders alone. For His “is the kingdom, the power and the glory forever and ever. Amen.”



Kathleen's books, columns, essays, and radio spots have found homes in hearts and media outlets worldwide. She prays some of those words have made a difference. This Sunny Side Up column was previously published in various Western newspapers.



Peter Black said...

Thanks Kathleen. This is surely a poignant article / post for you, at the point of change to which you've arrived and the uncertainty associated with it. However, you speak from much experience of finding Certainty in God and your knowledge of Him. May His chosen path and provision open up to you, and in a timely fashion. ~~+~~

Glynis said...

Splendid commentary on the present state of affairs. Love how the Uncertainty is filled by the 'bigness' of God. Super post. Thanks

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