“I learn by going where I have to go”

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Theodore Roethke in his poem The Waking wrote the line that titles this post. Presently it seems that all sorts of people are making all sorts of predictions about the future. It will be a total disaster or it will be a stunning success or something in between. In truth, no one knows what the future holds. In May of 1980, Mt. St. Helens, a lovely mountain shaped like an ice cream cone which we saw every day on the horizon, blew its top, spewing ash over miles of Oregon and Washington. I had to scoop heavy lava ash out of my gutters. No one had predicted that, and I certainly had not made the necessary preparations to buy several extra air filters for my car.

Weather forecasters try to accurately let us know what is ahead, but they are frequently wrong. Sometimes they predict mild storms that turn into blizzards, sometimes blizzards that turn into mild flurries. Stocks rise and fall, often unrelated to predictions about the market.

In truth, I don’t know what tomorrow holds. I can do my best to plan, but I have to hold my plans lightly. I know that God is often in the “interruptions” and I need to be mindful that what I think has to happen may be inconsequential. The “interruption” may be the most significant part of my day. As Roethke puts it so well, “I learn by going where I have to go.”

 

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