I have this sneaking suspicion that I will not be the same person in two weeks. I do not know what I will be, but I will have experienced some unique experiences that I am praying will be formative in my life. On Monday, I will depart from Chicago O’Hare Airport and about 24 hours later I will land in Entebbe, Uganda.
How do you prepare for the unknown? And in a real sense every week is a new unknown. The only difference is that we often think that THIS WEEK will be similar to last week. The fact that my next couple of weeks will certainly be unique is the reason I am even considering them as life changing.
I would contend that preparation for the unknown is a significant component of a life of faith. The expectation of uniformity and routine ought to give way in the life of a believer to “thy will be done”. We should be open to the trials, blessings, AND routines that God uses to shape a life of faith.
In my flesh I do not like the unknown. I want to be prepared. I have printed out two copies of every manuscript for the pastor’s conference I will be leading so that I have a copy in my check-in and in my carry-on. Nevermind that all of those will also be on my iPad as well. I have also prepared two extra sermons and a devotional for the times I will be asked to speak without notice. Part of that preparation stems from stage-fright, part of it stems from believing that God’s Word should be studied before it is taught, and another part frankly comes from an unhealthy desire to control my circumstances.
I think a trip to Uganda will be good for that. I also think that I have opportunities to grow like this through routine, everyday life. Faith entails trusting in the God who has revealed himself in the past, with my present and my future. He walks with His people in all of life’s circumstances. And my hope for growth, comes from my trust that He will bring me to exactly the circumstances I need to face in this next week.
I cannot prepare for every circumstance I will experience while in Uganda, but I can prepare myself best, by trusting in the God who will go there with me, sustain me in His grace, and use me as He sees fit for His own glory and for my own flourishing.
I am convinced that the best planning I can do for the future, is draw close to the one who holds that future.