What If Today…You Didn’t Know For Sure?

“For my part I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of the stars makes me dream.” ~Vincent  Van Gogh

“I’m going to feed the seagulls,” I whispered to the occupant of the bottom bunk, startling her from a deep sleep.

“Sorry,” she said, which was my queue to slink back out of the room and to let the sleepers enjoy a few more hours of quiet before everyone woke up. She’d been game for the adventure days earlier.

It was 5am, raining and very black outside.

I remembered as I buckled my seatbelt that the sun wouldn’t be up ’til about 6:30. But I was committed, so I started the car.

As I made my way down the road I thought, “Do seagulls eat before sunrise? Will they see me? What am I doing?”

Some things don’t make sense.

Such is my life, I live most of it figuratively and literally in the dark.

But I always act in the light of faith. I believe in living whether I understand, know for sure, or think I’m safe or right, considering how my actions affect other people, of course.

Last night I listened to a conversation about college math and another about relationships-  how it was wonderful when it all came together in your brain and made sense. Until then it was no fun, and the void of understanding was filled with game-playing, practice, failure, and a lot of pain- some of it inflicted on purpose.

As I drove  I contemplated the light from stars that travel for millions of years to finally be seen by us in the present.

Their journey is in the dark, not knowing for sure their destination or the blessing they’ll be for anyone or whose path they’ll light.

Can you imagine if they waited to know for sure before they shined?

What about you? Are you waiting for signs and wonders before stepping out into your life? Are you waiting for things to make sense?

Me? I finally got to the beach even though my gas gauge read “empty.”

There were no seagulls, but I scattered my bread crumbs anyways.

They’d be around later.

It would have been nice to see them swooping and racing to get a morsel of bread. But I’d come when I could and given the gift that I had to give.

Sometimes I think we think too much and act too little.

Why are people like that?


6 thoughts on “What If Today…You Didn’t Know For Sure?

  1. “Are you waiting for things to make sense?”

    This is a profound question – though we may not recognize it as such.

    Curiosity is often celebrated (for all the right and wrong reasons) and especially in its pursuit of the good, the true and the beautiful. But even truth and understanding, for example, are elusive, (seemingly) hard won, and do not always stow (fit) in the overhead cabinet (a reference to travel by jet).

    It can be a problem when we wait for things to make “sense” to us. In other words, it can be a problem when we wait for our interests to align and converge like a winning line of sevens on a one armed bandit (slot machine).

    It can be a problem because, statistically speaking, that kind of synchronicity is infrequent and rare – regardless of how blessed you may be or may imagine to be. It can also be a problem because we still need to do things, work on things and make a pilgrim’s progress through the long, dark nights.

    If we think too much (and I do), I feel this is only a consequence of our confusion and mixed intentions – a confusion that I imagine is created mostly by our own disorganized, competing interests, desires and emotions.

  2. Great thoughts, Stan. I liked the.
    My experience- and I believe it’s a very common one- is that our expectations are typically trumped by the unexpected. And the unexpected is treasured only by those with the courage to walk into them. I love this part of the journey! Faith requires an action with a promise of something. And the something is always better than the known expectation.

    Merry Christmas to you, Stan!
    Thanks for coming by!

  3. Thank you Betsy. A beautiful post and allegory of trusting in ourselves to do what we want and need to do without surety – but still with hope and faith that the steps we take will be the right ones, whatever the outcome. Only action creates ripples of change, and though a corresponding response may not be immediately seen, it doesn’t mean the action didn’t have an impact. We must do it anyway.

  4. A powerful statement, Betsy: “Sometimes I think we think too much and act too little.” So sadly true. I LOVE that you threw the bread for the seagulls that would be even though they weren’t yet. May we all throw our bread crumbs even when people are not yet around to benefit from them!

    A beautiful message, Betsy. Thanks so much for sharing it.

    • I was mentally prepared for them not to show up, but when they didn’t come I was bummed. Really! Then after I threw it all into the air I heard the waves and thought, “Boy, the things we miss!” It was eye-opening. Thanks for enjoying the message, Ken!

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