As every businessperson, GP and weather forecaster knows (and what every politician might do well to remember), ‘Certainty’ is an illusion. Every single one of us every day lives ‘by faith’. As I set out to walk to the village, lie down for a night’s rest, or even write this blog, there can be no certainty of completing my task. Amid the billions of options available in the molecular makeup of the natural world, none of us can be 100% certain that what we plan will actually happen. Well not quite…
One thing is certain: I do not know what the future holds. Neither do you. Every moment of my future life and yours is unknown territory. Any predictions about it are pure speculation. It is by its very nature an ‘advent’, the beginning of something unknown.
The Promise of Adventure
And that unknown may well be life-changing. A year or so ago I set off on my motorbike one Sunday evening to see my Mum in her care home. And so a new life-changing adventure began. I never arrived. I don’t have any recall of what happened, except to wake up to in Chichester hospital Intensive Care with my wife looking down on me. “You’ve had an accident,” she said. I had been thrown off the bike, broken 14 bones and was now on oxygen and significant quantities of various opiates and other medications to keep me alive. And a lovely nurse in 24 hour attendance just a thin hospital curtain away.
The journeys we begin have no guaranteed end. The promises we make can only be uttered with a proviso: nothing is certain. I was brought up in a very religious (and loving) home, where we were taught the meaning of DV. Deo Volente. Latin. It means ‘God willing’. As I interpret it today, it reminds me that there are billions of possibilities any one of which may or may not happen, and that like it or not, each of us, every day, lives trusting that what we depend on (from our brains working properly to the bus arriving) will prove reliable – and being prepared should it prove not to be.
There is absolutely no certainty when it comes to the future. None. Whatever the outcome of Brexit. To chose to wait until we can be certain is unwise to say the least. Certainty is an illusion. It isn’t coming. None of us knows what the future holds, not even in the next ten minutes.
In the maelstrom of today’s upside-down world, wisdom is found not in demanding certainty, but in embracing the risk embedded in the adventure we are compelled to live out every day – and making the most of it. The only cards we can play are the ones in our hand.
What do you have in your hand today? Make the most of it.