I’ve been looking for a place to confess that I have no idea what I’m doing. And now that I think about it, I’ve never had any idea what I was doing. Most of the important things in my life I stumbled into by complete accident.
I’m not lost. I know where I am. I have a pretty good sense of who I am. I know what I love. I’m surrounded by awesome people. But, as for the future, I have no idea what that will look like. The present sure looks nothing like what I imagined.
Studying theology has given me a particular way of seeing the world. The past is powerful. It wants to repeat itself. But there is always this novelty available to us in the present that means we can choose differently. In every moment, I choose from a number of possibilities, and all that I don’t choose perish, but then in the next moment a bunch of new possibilities open up to me.
Everything is a decision. There’s no hiding from that. For now, I keep making the decision to sit in this chair and write this post. But once you realize your freedom, it becomes impossible to ignore that in every moment, you have the opportunity for radical change. I could stand up. I could quit my job. I could buy a plane ticket to Germany. Or I could stay. And maybe staying is the more difficult thing sometimes.
So I say that I have no idea what I’m doing, because I don’t always know the possibilities open to me, I don’t always have the courage to realize them, I don’t know where my decisions will lead, and I certainly can’t predict how those decisions will change me. Theology gives me a way to look at this, but it doesn’t make it any easier to admit that I don’t know what I’m doing. It actually just points to the terrifying and awesome fact that I am making real decisions that affect my life.
It’s hard to let go of things and people, not knowing if you’re making the right decision. It’s hard to say no to several things, so that you can yes to one. It’s hard to know that your mind is going to change a million more times before you get to wherever you’re going. But indecision is a decision too. It’s a decision to stay the same and let the past repeat itself with only the tiniest bit of difference. No matter how scared I am of making mistakes, I don’t think I can give into that kind of boredom.
So I’m going to keep walking forward, sometimes with my hands covering my eyes and sometimes with such confidence that no one will guess I’m not leading this parade. I’m going to be honest that I don’t know what I’m doing, because that seems to lead to more interesting conversations. And I’m going to get up from this chair now.