Clueless and Good at It
Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Life in the Third Degree.
Since last summer, my life has been in a free fall. Sometimes I think I can see land beneath me. Other times, itâ€™s mist and obscured.
I had thought that once the divorce was final, I could get some structure back into my life, but instead, itâ€™s all open air and Iâ€™m diving and have no idea whatâ€™s ahead.
This is different for me. Iâ€™ve always been the quintessential planner. I had my college schedule planned out before I ever went to high school. I had my career and life planned before I ever started college. And for the last few years with my ex, I still had plans for the future, and a bright future, too, with dinners cooked at home and children not in daycare and dreams of being a writer fulfilled.
So now Iâ€™ve come through the fire, not unscathed but stronger than ever. And yet, I havenâ€™t a clue what to do next.
Iâ€™ve done all the analysis, made all the plans, looked at every nook and cranny. And yet, I havenâ€™t a clue what to do next.
It is Mark who offers me the solace I need. He helps me to see that not knowing whatâ€™s coming next is not only okay, but a good thing! My garden may be well-planned and full of flowers, but I canâ€™t add a beautiful new plant if my garden is already so full and so well-planned that a new plant just wonâ€™t fit. The empty garden can be filled as I go through life. I can add to it as wondrous new things appear in my life. A full garden gets maintenance at best but no new blossoms. Itâ€™s okay to not know what to plant next or to have not yet found the right flower for that corner space.
Mark calls this â€œwanderingâ€ and reminds me of all the great spiritual leaders who spent 90% of their path just wandering. I think of how Jesus never seemed, according to the authors of the Gospels, to have a written agenda or a life plan or a checklist to abide by. He just wandered from place to place, sharing His teachings and both loving and serving. I think of other leaders, too, and Iâ€™m in good company. I feel better now that Iâ€™m just â€œwandering.â€
But the truth is, wandering is going to be an acquired taste for me. Right now, itâ€™s settled in my mid-section, below my ribcage. That anxious feeling somewhere between my gut instinct and my heart. That sense of the unknown.
Then I remember what Mark said about maps. They donâ€™t show you where youâ€™re going, but rather, where you are. I think Iâ€™ve drawn a pretty good map of my life. Which way I go now is my choice. And I have lots and lots of choices.
The map has no invisible ink, no missing sections. Itâ€™s all there if I care to look. And for me to explore it all and see all the things I could never have planned to see, it just takes a leap of faith and then a lot of wandering through unfamiliar, dangerous, and beautiful terrain.
And itâ€™s okay that I donâ€™t know my step.