In my previous entry, I talked about how it's OK to be unsure of what’s next. It is an encouraging read, but I sense that won’t remove completely the question of “but, what do I do now??”
Here are 3 practical steps on how we can move forward when faced with uncertainty.
1. Go With What You Know (Step by step)
Don’t get frozen by what you don’t know, stick and commit to what you do know. While waiting for things to be clearer, take it one day/thing at a time. There may be a need to take some time off to figure things out, but otherwise don’t put everything on hold (or drop everything) simply because you cannot see how your today connects to your tomorrow.
When God called Abram (later renamed Abraham), He simply said to “go to the land that I will show you” - this command also came with a promise that He will be blessed abundantly (Genesis 12:1-3). That is as vague as vague can be! If it were me, I would be asking all kinds of questions: “Where are we going?” “How far is the journey?” “How long will it take?” “How will I know I am going the right way?” “What will my blessing look like?” “Is that really you, God?” Yet, Abram dutifully obeyed and took all that he had and went on his way (Genesis 12:4-5). He went with what he knew to do.
Next, he arrived in Canaan and had a revelation from God that he would inherit this land. BUT, it was occupied by the Canaanites. What did he do? He went with what he knew. He worshipped the Lord, but kept going (Genesis 12:6-9). Then, a famine hit the region of Canaan - what did Abram do? He went with what he knew to do - he went to Egypt to escape the famine (Genesis 12:10).
Abram faced many uncertainties and challenges throughout his journey, yet he took it step by step. He went with what he knew at the point he was in.
How does that translate practically into our lives?
Just completed high school but you don’t know what to pursue? Go do an internship or a foundation course in college.
Want to be a politician but don’t know where to start? Join a political party and volunteer.
Stuck in your career and at a lost of what to do? While figuring out your next job, remain faithful and reliable at your current one.
Have an idea but don’t know how to proceed on it? Seek out people with experience in those areas and talk to them: learn, glean, absorb - be humble and hungry.
Feeling like you are called to another ministry but unsure of which one? Continue serving passionately and honour those above and around you, make a move when things are clearer.
The key is to take things one step at a time. God may give us a “big picture” of things, but He quite often leaves out the “tiny details”. I believe this is intentional - because if He show and tell us everything we would need to know, we would stop relying on Him and start to believe we can be independent of God.
2. Only A Moving Ship Can Be Steered (Keep On Going)
Life is quite often like a puzzle. You have the picture in mind, but the pieces at hand. It is easy to feel overwhelmed by all the pieces and not know where to start, but as you begin to pick up one piece, and connect it to another, and another piece connecting to another - little by little things will start to come into perspective.
Don’t be paralysed with fear, but be mobilised by faith. Remember, go with what you know and WHO you know. The author and perfecter of our journey is Jesus. Many a times, the following step is only made clear by taking the preceding one - like turning a bend to see what is around the corner. A ship is safe in harbour but that is not what ships are made for. You were made for so much more - don’t only realise that when the chances are less.
“What if I take a wrong step? What if I make an incorrect choice?” Trust me, the power of choice is ours but I’m fairly certain that it isn’t potent enough to undo or derail the plan of God. Don’t give yourself that much credit. If you find yourself heading in the wrong direction, it is always possible to have a course correction - that’s the grace of God.
Here is what I am convinced of: it is better to look back and be able to say: “At least I’ve tried” then to live with the regret of “If only I did.” Take the next step, Jesus has the wheel.
3. Failure Is Never Fatal Nor Final (Making Mistakes Is Part Of It)
It is said that the fear of failure is actually more detrimental than failure itself. Because failure is common and almost necessary in life. Failures cause us to learn, and learning causes to grow, and growing pushes us closer to the destiny that God has in store for us.
If you ever find yourself in a situation where you have failed, don’t look at it as setback but rather a setup for a comeback - in victory we celebrate, in defeat we evaluate. God wastes no experience so nor should we: learn from it. Failure is not the opposite of success, it is part of it. Don’t fear failure, embrace it.
Failure is an event, it is never a person. Failure can either defeat us or define us - it is not about how you fell down, it is about whether you are willing to get back up again. Only when we refuse to learn or pick ourselves up again can it be said to be final.
So go on. Make a move. Take the next step, don’t fear failure and whatever you do - keep on keeping on.