“I wanted a perfect ending. Now I’ve learned, the hard way, that some poems don’t rhyme, and some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next.” —Gilda Radner
“An intermediate, transitional, or midway state or place.” Unless that doesn’t suit you, and you’d prefer the alternative definition:
“…a region on the border of hell or heaven.”
From where I sit, that last one seems a bit more like it.
I can deal with most anything, but the unknowing. Uncertainty, unanswered questions, unplotted courses, rough drafts. That kind of unfinished limbo breeds fear and worry like bunnies in the spring. It’s a barren piece of real estate outside of the peace of heaven and bumping up right next to hell.
Diagnose me Type A, a control freak, or OCD, but I like my ducks in a row and my I’s and T’s dotted and crossed. Limbo doesn’t work for me.
But life isn’t listening. Instead of giving neat edges and penned schedules, it’s serving up complication and uncertainty. An economy that can’t find it’s groove and grow. Family dynamics that could change drastically without notice. Grown children who don’t always make the choices I scripted for them. Health unknowns with unpredictable outcomes. Business questions with no clear answers.
Uncertainty, uncertainty, uncertainty.
I know you know what I’m talking about. Some of you woke up this morning all tied up in knots. Your outlook on life looks entirely different than it did yesterday.
There’s not much you and I can do about the limbo. It’s the real estate of life, where we relate, work, move and dream, even when we try to contain and control it by trimming the shrubs and mowing the yard. Human life moves in uncertainty. We have plans, predictions and possibilities, but very few guarantees.
Still. The gift of uncertainty is how it forces us to focus on what we know. Those guarantees make far better real estate, turning uncertain lives into more of heaven and less of hell.
- Guarantee #1: God is real, whether you believe in Him or not.
- Guarantee #2: This life is not all there is. We’re made for eternity.
- Guarantee #3: One of our greatest assets remains within reach: Each other.
- Guarantee #4: This real God, who created life and prepared eternity, hasn’t abandoned us in our uncertainty. His presence is with us in it. We are not alone.
For those of you who, along with me, wrestle with the unfinished, undone, hellish places of this limbo life, let’s you and I do something different:
Let’s stop rehearsing our uncertainties and instead stand strong on our guarantees. Our world doesn’t need more negative naysayers who gripe and complain and fret about the mess we’re all in. Our world and neighbors and children need people who have the vision to see beyond the uncertainty to the guarantees. And are willing to give voice to it.
Our greatest message isn’t reminding everyone of the horrible limbo we’re all living in.
Our greatest message is our confident certainty: A real God and the Hope of Heaven.
And an eternal life with absolutely no limbo at all.
How will focusing on what you know change how you feel today?