For many of us, we’re surprised that we continue to live in uncertain times. The only certainty is the uncertainty!
In fact there’s a sense of déjà vu. The impact of the pandemic in December 2021 seems little different to 12 months ago. We’ve been living with uncertainty caused by the pandemic for way longer than we ever imagined – and may be it’s all to the good that we didn’t imagine this duration! Each day does indeed have enough trouble of its own.
Getting back to that sense of déjà vu. When we experience something again, we have the benefit of hindsight. We can apply – if we choose – what we learned from our last experience.
These times have reinforced for me that anything can change at any time, including government regulation, societal norms, and our own circumstances (health, wealth and the rest). This is reality.
They’ve reminded me to keep identifying things I can change versus things I cannot change (as helpful described in Niebuhr’s serenity prayer). Those things I can change require me to act. Those things I cannot change require me to accept them. Neither action nor acceptance are necessarily easy – and there can be sadness and pain in either. But this is the reality.
Beyond the first couple of lines, Niebuhr’s prayer goes onto point to a relationship with God, beginning in our present reality but continuing beyond our earthly lives. It is valuable to reflect on things that are unchanging. For me this includes the God of love, ‘love divine all loves excelling’, the Alpha and the Omega.
As you face uncertainty today, may you approach it with wisdom. And if you choose to, may you too know the God of love. A Happy Christmas to you.
This is Mindful Monday on 20 December 2021.