“Life can only be understood backward, but it must be lived forward.”
— Søren Kierkegaard
We’ve talked often here about the importance of surrendering the idea of control, and learning to make the best of whatever comes. Setting a course for the future is wise and even necessary, but any plans we make are based on partial information about circumstances we have no way of fully knowing in advance. Expecting perfect forecasting is asking the impossible of ourselves.
Often we hear or say “I just don’t understand why all this is happening.” Of course we don’t! How could we? It’s usually not important for us to understand anyway. It’s far more beneficial to say “I don’t know what I should do about this,” and then seek wisdom through prayer, information, contemplation, and talks with trusted friends and advisors.
Life doesn’t always make sense to us. But we don’t have to understand everything to make good decisions and wise choices. I think we’re more able to cope when we aren’t distracted by getting stuck on unanswerable questions.
If you ever find yourself spinning your mental wheels over issues you can’t control, or fretting over a difficult challenge, or overcome with sorrow at a loss or failure — give yourself permission to go forward anyway, without needing to understand it completely. If we do the best we can with what we have, one day at a time, we often will be able to look back years later and see meaning that may elude us now.
One year ago today: