There is a truth in my life that becomes stronger as it ages. The older I get, the less I know. The longer way of saying this is that the more I age the more I am aware of what I do not know. It is not that I know less. Instead, it is the understanding of how much I cannot see and do not understand.
For the past few days, I have been treated to the wonder of family. Multiple generations, hanging out together, sharing life, and breaking bread. It was a wonderful experience, a fun reminder of life’s core values. It is also a story that revels in its diversity with differing views, understandings, and priorities.
I would like to think that I had something to offer to this group. The opportunity will come, however I realize that it will appear in a way that I did not anticipate. In that moment, I will have to act. It is unlikely to be a series of thoughts that reflect planning. It will be a reaction to the situation at hand.
Life is more active than thoughtful. We think we can analyze the situation, only to discover things unfolding in ways we did not anticipate. We imagine that we understand what others are going through, only to find something different as their stories unfold. Life asks us to respond, to exercise our freedom in the moment at hand.
At times, we do what needs to be done and try to sort things out later. The model is the same that one writer recorded at a riot. “The captain came up and put Paul under arrest. He first ordered him handcuffed, and then asked who he was and what he had done. All he got from the crowd were shouts, one yelling this, another that.” (Acts 21.33) It may not be the whole answer. It was an action leading to a future answer.
In the quietness of new morning, I cannot see the answers. I know that life demands our action. In these, we tell our stories.