Anne Lamott said quoting Paul Tillich, the opposite of faith is certainty. In other words, we always think we know what’s what as if we’re chronically writing a screenplay.
The truth is, we know nothing.
As some of you know, I’ve been down over the prospect of Carmela the basset hound being given away. Down is an understatement, and it’s not just because I won’t see her anymore. I’m concerned over her well-being. What if they’re mean to her. She’s not very well-trained and what if they haven’t the patience? What if they hit her or leave her at the pound? As you can see, I have a serious case of the what ifs.
It occurred to me, I have no idea what will happen just like I didn’t see this situation coming. Maybe she’ll go to someone like me who will love her so much she’ll become a better dog and a happier one. I adore her now, but she can be naughty like anyone who was never taught how to behave.
Meanwhile, three weeks after they made this alarming announcement, she is still in residence.
Where does my arrogance stem from thinking I already know the outcome?
In the film Heaven Can Wait an angel, played by Buck Henry, gets reprimanded by his superior (James Mason) for taking the Warren Beatty character out of his body before his bike accident because he was certain it would be painfully fatal.
“You have to wait for the outcome,” the top angel said, since it wasn’t supposed to be curtains and of course the whole movie is about getting Joe back his body that, come to find out was cremated and no longer optional.
Isak Dinesen in Out of Africa wrote: God made the world round so we couldn’t see too far ahead.
Only God sees around corners, a 12 Step slogan and a favorite of mine I should have tattooed across my chest.
Why can’t I stay peacefully within the parameters of my day being where my feet are?
Does it help anything to expect a gunshot that could be heard around the world?
I think of September 11th and those who got up and went to work that day. Did they spend their last night on earth worrying and fretting, weeping and writing to all their friends how miserable they were over something that had yet to come to pass?
It’s almost an insult to our creator, whomever he may be whether it’s Jesus, Buddah or Johnny Walker Black to be so sure how things will work out.
We’re saying we know best when we know zip.
I need to remember this every time I slip into hopelessness mode replacing it with grace.
Grace, by the way, is one smart cookie and more than happy to make house calls.
Just dial 1-800 HELP.