Sunday, August 16, 2009

No, I Know

I do not like the unknown.

I went to a movie on Friday night and (OK if you haven't seen Time Traveler's Wife skip this paragraph because I will ruin it for you) at the end of the movie I was HORRIFIED. Because of my bordering-on-mental disdain for the unknown. After his death, the time traveling husband visits his wife and child because his younger self traveled forward in time to see them before he had died. I know, time travel is confusing, but I make it much worse trying to explain it... Any normal person would certainly think it would be wonderful to hug and see again a beloved spouse that had died. That is why I have decided I am not very normal. Or maybe I am flat out heartless (??!?). Putting myself in the TTW's position, the thought of NOT KNOWING when or if my dead husband would come and visit me seemed FAR more distressing than laying him to rest and knowing he was gone for good. Period. No wondering. No leaving clothes out for years on end. No unknown. Am I really that cold and loveless? Wouldn't I give anything or wait anywhere, anytime for another hug or just another glimpse of my own beloved. Hmm. Not so much.

But I love my husband. In fact, I adore him. And I am smart enough to recognize that he makes my life SO, SO much better by not being dead and gone. I love to hug him, hold his hand, see his smile, smell his neck, hear his voice. He is so good to me and tries every day to make my life better. Truly. I like him, a LOT.

That being said, I am even more perplexed by my own twisted preferences. I think the torture and pain of wondering if he would come would outweigh the sheer giddyness I would undoubtedly feel to see him after he had gone. Now of course I have to concede the fact that I have NOT lost the love of my life and truly have no clue how that would feel. I might be completely wrong. But for that moment, in that dark theater, I was dismayed and disturbed at the notion of waiting and wondering.

I think that feeling like this is NOT a good thing. And i am not only refering to the fact that me sharing my decided 'dislike for the unkown' probably ruined the film for those unfortunate enough to be in the theater with me (sorry fellow movie goers). No, in fact, I think this is not a good thing on a fundamental spiritual level.

D&C 84:83-84 says:
83 For your Father, who is in heaven, knoweth that you have need of all these things.
84 Therefore, let the morrow take thought for the things of itself.

There are also countless stories from the scriptures that help us to understand that we don't need to know HOW things are going to happen, we just need to believe the Lord has got us covered. Nephi got those plates. David slew Goliath. Daniel didn't get eaten by a lion. Alma and the Sons of Mosiah converted lots of Lamanites. You know the drill. Faithful guys do great things or are preserved in miraculous ways--even if they weren't clear on the details before hand. Maybe that is why one of my favorite stories is about Joseph in Egypt. He knew how things were going to go down. He prepared for the future that he knew. But I guess even Joseph only had a vague idea of what would happen... visions of sickly cows and dry corn aren't exactly detailed instructions for 7 years of food storage.

Lately my dislike for the unknown, or more accurately termed 'lack of faith,' has really gotten the best of me. It seems like there are so many things I am lacking faith in, but I will just give one example. There's this whole 'Highway 160 Alternate' thing going on. There is a small chance the new highway will go through our home and development. We have learned and done all we can in the situation. But we have to wait and see before we will know for certain what will happen. And I just let it drive me bonkers. I sometimes think I would rather we lost everything RIGHT NOW instead of waiting and wondering for another year, when it will all turn out fine (because it is 99% likely that the highway will not come anywhere near us in the future). But the point is, what will happen is in the future. The unknown. And it's that unknown that just gets to me. I mull it over and over in my head instead of just letting it go. I tell myself that no matter what happens, I will be fine with it and I know the Lord will take care of us, but I just want to know HOW and WHEN.

And I realize the Lord knows this about me. So He lets me wait. And wonder. And hopefully learn. Learn that after I have done my part, I just need to let it go. Put the worry aside and let it play out how it will. This is not to say that we quit trying or working for the future we hope to see. But after giving our best efforts, we need to remember that the Lord sees the bigger picture. And if we are faithful, it all goes down for the better. I have been trying to reevaluate lately (worry can often usher in a good dose of humility) and have come up short in far too many ways. But I guess that's all part of the plan, right? I tend to go on Cruise Control unless I hit some good sized speed bumps.

So I will try to change. I might not be ready to embrace the unknown, but for now, I will try to just let it play out--and play along. Because I have seen it too often and too clearly to deny that the Lord is mindful of me. He is looking out for me and my family. It will all work out, even if I don't know the details just yet. So I guess the clothes in the woods will have to do.

D&C 84:82 For, consider the lilies of the field, how they grow, they toil not, neither do they spin; and the kingdoms of the world, in all their glory, are not arrayed like one of these.


Kim said...

The best thing about not knowing is that the Lord always surprises me and gets it better than I could have!

Prov. 3:5 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

Kelly said...

You have no idea how much this post answered many of my thoughts and worries right now. I have been reminding myself of those same scriptures and yet agonizing over the unknown. Thank you!

Lucy said...

You're awesome. I saw that movie and thought, "Aw...they really love each other." You watch it and apply all of these gospel principles (which, I'm pretty sure the producers of the movie didn't see coming).

I can't imagine your stress level about all of the 550 uncertainty. It's...frustrating, that they can wreak havoc on so many good people, because they messed up. Makes me feel all libertarian with you.

But, I do share your belief in a Heavenly Father who loves us, and while he won't protect us from all bad things, or even letting us know what they will be to soften the blow, He will enable those ouchies to be for our experiences, to make us more like Him and our Savior.