The Moment of Uncertainty

WORDS FROM W.W. November 29, 2010

This is my tenth year of officiating high school basketball. Some might say that I’m a glutton for punishment.
From November until March I attend Monday night meetings with other basketball officials. The meetings always include tips and instruction on certain aspects of officiating. We look at film clips, talk about basketball plays that could go either way. In officiating there are moments of uncertainty. There are moments where, simply put, we aren’t sure. “Was the defender there in time or was it a blocking foul on him?” “Was the ball released before the buzzer, or after?”
It occurs to me that the lives of most followers of Jesus are interjected with those moments of uncertainty as well. The uncertainty originates in our own minds and hearts that experience the void of wonder. It begins in the midst of a gray day. It commences in an unsettling conversation. It whispers in an illness that rocks us.
Sometimes the uncertainty is ever so slight. I’ve found myself thinking despicable thoughts about someone, and then the guilt and shame of what only I know is harvested in doubts that God could love someone so wicked.
Ministry is infected with uncertainty. People leave the church we pastor and we become uncertain about our calling to pastor. A Sunday sermon comes out passionless and we wonder if God is calling us to apply at Walmart. Each week carries with it a multitude of work details and we become uncertain as to which is more important, or more urgent.
In other words, the calling carries with it the ball and chain of uncertainty.
Let it be said, however, that God is never uncertain. Even when I’m doubting his interest in my life it never affects the heightened interest that he already has in it. Even when I’m skeptical that grace could be given so freely, he never changes the consistency of his intense compassion.
There will continue to be those moments of uncertainty in our walk with the Lord. It’s not a ripple effect of a diminishing commitment to our Lord, but rather a stain from our fallen creation.

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