You do not need to know

It was pretty hard to see where we were going on this road at Crater Lake, Oregon, but it turned out to be a wonderful adventure. June (yes, June) 2000.

It was pretty hard to see where we were going on this road at Crater Lake, Oregon,
but it turned out to be a wonderful adventure. June (yes, June) 2000.

“You do not need to know precisely what is happening, or exactly where it is all going. What you need is to recognize the possibilities and challenges offered by the present moment, and to embrace them with courage, faith and hope.”
Thomas Merton

When a frightening situation arises, my first impulse is to try to find out as much about it as I can. For me, information has always brought a sense of empowerment, along with the comfort of reassurance and/or a chance to prepare myself to face the worst of whatever is going on. I’m sure this tendency to seek power in knowledge has something to do with my lifelong fascination with libraries, which led to my seemingly inevitable path through library school.

With almost any trait, though, it’s best not to take it too far.  Since information is often ambiguous at best and contradictory at worst, an over-reliance on it can lead to what a friend of mine called “paralysis by analysis,” a common setback for me.  It might seem counter-intuitive, but the older I get, and the more experiences I have, the less I know.  Oddly, it comes as rather a relief.

No matter how carefully we plan, the road ahead is uncertain at best, for all of us.  Let’s remind each other that life can be an adventure if we choose to see it that way.  Regardless of what lies in store, it will be easier to bear if we surround ourselves with people who understand and practice courage, faith and hope.

One year ago today:

Security or opportunity?

This post was first published seven years ago today. The original post, comments and photo are linked, along with two other related posts, below. These links to related posts, and their thumbnail photos, do not appear in the blog feed; they are only visible when viewing the individual posts by clicking on each one. I have no idea why, nor do I know how they choose the related posts. That’s just the way WordPress does things.


  1. Good morning, Julia!
    I’ve probably shared this Newsboys doing with you before; it’s such a theme in life for us. “Lord, I don’t know where all this is going, it how it all works out….”

    Have a blessed day!

    • Susan, thanks for sharing that song. I wasn’t familiar with the song or the group. I like what the song says although I do think that it would be more balanced if it implied that part of reaching that peace it is asking God to provide, involves some action(s) on our part. To put it another way, it’s wonderful to acknowledge our own limitations and ask God to help us see clearly, but at the same time, we need to say “What do you want me to do?” And I believe what God wants is to do is clearly outlined in the Bible. It’s just hard to live up to for most of us.

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