Every day we face new ventures, unseen horizons, and challenging obstacles. It could be a move to a new city, a change of jobs, attending a different school, or moving to a new neighborhood.
Facing the unknown is difficult. It is like stepping from the light into the darkness. It can be a terrifying experience leaving behind everything familiar to face the uncertainty.
One can face the unknown with confidence by putting into practice these ideas.
Don moved to our town from Iowa. He had left behind a broken marriage, a disappointing job, habits that were not becoming a Christian. He was on a downward spiral to disaster. “Why did you move here?” I asked. “Two words,” he said, “to start over. I’m looking for a new beginning.”
The future is a wonderful place. In fact, you better get used to the future because that is where you are going to spend the rest of your life. The future has a redeeming value and quality to it. In the future we have the exciting opportunity to begin again or to start over. The unknown is not such a terrible place. It’s a place of new beginnings. A place of starting over.
In the movie City Slickers, the three city boys go to a New Mexico ranch to drive a herd of cattle to Colorado. In one scene Phil, who has had an affair with an employee that threatens his marriage, cries to his friends, “My life’s a dead end. ‘m almost forty years old. ‘ve wasted my life.” His friend says, “No. You got a chance to start over. Remember when we were kids playing ball. And the ball would get stuck in the tree. And we would yell, ‘Do over.’ Your life is a ‘do over.’ You got a clean slate.” Life offers “do overs.” Where are they? In the future. Who grants them? God. Why does he give us another chance? So we can start over.
The unknown may not be that frightening and depressing after all. A new community, a new job, a new school, a new church may be the doorway to new opportunities and new horizons. But, that doorway must be stepped into in order to experience God’s blessings. Therefore, the next two-word set is vital—move forward.
Oswald Chambers puts it all in perspective. “It is no use to pray for the old days; stand square where you are and make the present better than any past has been. Base all on your relationship to God and go forward, and presently you will find that what is emerging is infinitely better than the past ever was.” God has always challenged his people to move forward. And he has always rewarded people who do move forward. Faith is always required in moving forward. To face the unknown, to meet the challenges of a new day, to move ahead in life, to grow, always requires faith. You see, it is only as we move forward in faith that the unknown becomes known, that the darkness becomes light, that the night becomes day. Moving forward in faith is like walking toward an electric-eye-opening door. The door only opens as we move forward toward it.
God has some wonderful new beginnings and exciting new blessings awaiting us as we move forward in faith into the unknown. Patrick Overton describes our movement and God’s corresponding response so beautifully. He writes: “When you walk to the edge of all the light you have and take that step into the darkness of the unknown you must believe that one of two things will happen: Either there will be something solid for you to stand on, or God will teach you how to fly.”
When you step into the unknown it often feels as though the rug of your life has been pulled out from under you. But remember that if the rug has been pulled out, God is under the rug. He will catch you, support you, encourage you, and soften the blow of the fall. You can count on him for that. He can be trusted.