Musings of an Irish-American

Sometimes I think about stuff, and then I write it here…

Monthly Archives: September 2009

show me what i’m looking for

It’s been a while since I’ve last been here…realized that I needed to reflect a little bit.

I recently re-read the short book “The Shepherd” by Matthew Kelly (those of you who have seen my Facebook lately will recognize this) and I’ve been trying to figure out the following quote:

“…God reveals His will one step at a time, but this creates a great deal of uncertainty, and we don’t like that. In this modern age we try to control all of the elements so that we can have security and stability. If only we could learn to enjoy uncertainty. Uncertainty is a sign that all is well. God is your friend; He will take care of the details.”

There is something profound about that quote. Unfortunately, to me, it’s so profound that I really can’t make it make sense. How can you enjoy uncertainty? I’ve never been the type of person that’s okay with not being “in the know”. I usually try my best to know what’s going on, what people are up to, just to be informed. To me, it kills me to not know some things.

I have previously mentioned a song used in Taize’ prayer called “In the Lord I’ll be ever thankful”; it contains the lyrics “Look to God, Do Not Be Afraid. Lift up your voices, the Lord is near.” For some reason I connect these lyrics with the above quote, but I guess, as easy as it is to say that I can look to God and not be afraid, I have a hard time actually looking to God for help.

In fact, I have a hard time looking to anyone for help. There are friends of mine who point this out that I vehemently deny this fact to, but I’ve become more and more aware of it. Believe me, I’m not one of those folks who sees asking others for help as a sign of “weakness”, but I guess I’ve always felt that I need to be helping someone, not someone needing help.

A good example is a meeting I had last week with my group of First-Year students (for you first-timers, I’m a mentor for a group of First-Year students at DePauw, and we meet during the year to check in and discuss pertinent issues of what’s occurring on campus). I started the meeting by asking everyone in the group to share one high and one low from their experience so far here. We got through everybody and then a couple of them asked me, “So what’s your high and low?” and I sort of deflected the question, but they were persistent and so I shared.

Looking back on it, I can actually remember students from my group last year asking me the same thing and me reacting much the same way. It actually bothers me a bit that I did react the same way this time around; I suppose I still have this same feeling that, being a mentor, my problems aren’t of anyone’s consequence but mine.

I guess I’m slowly learning that enjoying uncertainty would be a hell of a lot easier if I just let myself go every once in a while. If I could own up to the fact that I’m not “above” having problems, or that sometimes we all need to lean on somebody, I might have an easier go of things.

But therein lies the problem: I always am trying. I’m not saying that I need to quit trying, but maybe I need to lessen the intensity of my trying. As they say, whatever happens happens.

So I leave you with the lyrics of a song by the band Carolina Liar (I am fairly aware of the fact that this song is widely played), but I feel the lyrics have a place here (this post’s title is the name of the song):

Wait, I’m wrong
Should have done better than this
Please, I’ll be strong
I’m finding it hard to resist
So show me what I’m looking for

I think the uncertainty is the search for what we’re looking for, we’re just not being shown all at once.

-MJH

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