Handling uncertainty

From The Pastor’s Pen – By Brian Horrobin

James Clear, author of “Atomic Habits”, once said, “The ultimate form of preparation is not planning for a specific scenario, but a mindset that handle uncertainty.”

The apostles learned this lesson the hard way once when they were trying to cross the Sea of Galilee at night.

Normally an easy trip, this time a storm came up suddenly and swamped their fishing vessel.

Mark 4 tells us that these seasoned nautical men, in their panic, woke a sleeping Jesus and asked Him why He didn’t care that they were perishing (please note that Jesus was in the same boat and would have been facing the same fate, yet was undisturbed by the commotion).

Jesus rebuked the storm, and the waves immediately grew calm.

He then pinpointed the problem for them in Mark 4:40: “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?”

The apostles had planned for a routine trip across the lake, something they had done many times before.

However, no attention had been given to what they might do if conditions changed.

If we are prepared, we will also be able to adapt to a changing circumstance.

Failure in previous lessons can be one of our best teachers for this, but also spending time in prayer asking the Lord to give us wisdom for the road ahead.

A person who has learned CPR will not have to panic if they are out in public and someone around them suffers a heart attack.

They are prepared for such an occasion by what they did long before the situation arose.

I have found by experience that a life rooted in prayer and the study of God’s Word helps me to maintain a healthy balance to approaching the unpredictable and uncertain things in life’s path.

It doesn’t guarantee that I won’t feel tension or panic, but it can go a long way in helping me to “manage on the fly.”

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