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How to Embrace an Uncertain Future



Patrick Overton, a nationally recognized community arts developer, noted: "When you walk to the edge of all the light you have and take that first step into the darkness of the unknown, you must believe that one of two things will happen: There will be something solid for you to stand upon or you will be taught how to fly."


I've found this to be a reassuring statement.


We've all had times when we had to step into a new situation - by choice or necessity - without knowing exactly how it would unfold. Yet, as we gain a greater understanding of what walking by faith and not by sight means, we can act with positive expectancy. In other words, while we may not know the future, we can choose to believe it will unfold in a spiritually perfect way.


As I reflected on embracing the mystery, I remembered when I had the call to become a Unity Minister. This calling was not something I would have imagined for my life; I never would have devised such an idea on my own. But I answered the call. I took the steps for admission to ministerial school. However, as the time approached to attend seminary, I began to doubt. I questioned whether I could be a minister. I wondered if I was doing the right thing. Nevertheless, I released my house and sold or gave away the possessions I did not need.


The night before driving to Unity Village, I felt a sense of uncertainty and buyer's remorse. But there was no turning back. In that instant, I needed a sign to confirm that what I was doing was right, or at least not totally wacko.


I went to a Chinese restaurant for my "last supper" experience. The waiter gave me my fortune cookie at the end of the meal. The fortune said: "You have made the right choice; follow through." I followed through and stepped into the unknown. The journey ended up being fabulous. I did what I loved and have had a soul growth and unfoldment beyond what I could have imagined.


Often, we want signs to show up before we move in the direction of our inner urgings. But when we step into the mystery, we realize that signs often show up after we've made the decision. After we decide and move forward, what we need shows up - ideas, people, and resources.


We were born to embrace the mysteries that lie before us. By embracing new and unknown paths, we grow and discover talents and capabilities that otherwise would not be found if we had elected to stay where we are.


One of the keys to navigating the mysteries before us is to move with positive expectancy. We do this by waking up daily and expecting the "glad surprise". The glad surprise, a phrase coined by Howard Thurman, an influential American author, educator, theologian, and civil rights leader, is when we get amazed at how good it can get in our lives and how much good we can express.


We can accept the glad surprise even when things seem darkest, and our backs are against the wall. It is that moment when, like a stream of light, the answer comes suddenly. Those moments are the glad surprises.


We want to embrace the mystery with the expectation of a glad surprise. To experience the delighted surprise requires we surrender to God's power, presence, and love. Surrender, of course, is not acquiescing or giving up. It is yielding to something more profound and higher within us. We are seeing from an expanded point of view. By embracing the mystery, we surrender to our next stage of evolution.


As you go on this great adventure called life, do it with the attitude of expecting a glad surprise. As you do, know there is something beyond what you can see rushing towards you. It wants to come forward and express itself through and as your life.


Love it as you step on that solid ground. If there is no ground, know you will learn how to fly.


Peace and Blessings,

James

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