I’ve been thinking about uncertainty. And I suppose there is nothing very surprising about that, in one of the most uncertain periods of recent memory. As I speak with those around me, almost everyone is struggling with the uncertainty that has been ushered in by the COVID pandemic.
One is uncertain whether she will still have a job in a month. Another is uncertain whether she will be able to return to her country of origin before her dad passes away. Almost everyone is wondering what life will look like next month, next quarter, next year.
I started this year with two main training courses in view. In both cases, I had leadership responsibilities that were new for me. Even in a normal year, this would mean exercising a good amount of imagination, creativity and organisation. As it happened, there were many months when imagination was put on hold because we simply didn’t know what would be possible. Eventually, the 6-week residential training was shelved in favour of a 2-week online alternative. And the 1-week residency intended to launch the first of 2 years of training for spiritual directors has evolved into a 2-week online version that we will run twice.
But what about that feeling in the middle? Before the alternative is considered as a possibility, when it feels like everything is on hold? Does anyone else find that waiting and lack of certainty just a bit disempowering? ‘What can I do?’ we ask ourselves. And the answer is, ‘nothing.’ Nothing but wait.
Well, not quite nothing. Perhaps there are in fact some things we can do in seasons of uncertainty in order to remain engaged, oriented towards hope, and attentive to the leading of the Spirit.