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Thoughts in Uncertainty #7

Worry and Uncertainty. The perfect couple. The power of a mindful moment. I have been training myself to worry for a long time. I worry alone. But during this time, I worry with many people. I worry about my future and the future of my children and the future of the economy. I worry about the climate, and I worry about the pandemic and well-being of everyone in the world. I worry about racism and antisemitism. Will we ever find a vaccine, a treatment, a cure, and an openness to people as they are? I base my worry in fear and my need for certainty and control amid so much uncertainty and hatred. I believe that somehow worry will help me solve my problems or at least prepare me for the worst.

Thoughts in Uncertainty #6

Chaos is Good News? One of my favorite authors, Pema Chödrön, Comfortable with Uncertainty, has a quote I find challenging and unsettling, “We should always consider a time of chaos to be very good news.” I thought to myself, "What could that mean?" I believe that stability, dependability, assurance, and predictability is wonderful news. Chaos always feels like bad news. And I’ve had some chaotic times in my life! In February 1989, my wife, Mary, and I discovered that she was pregnant with our first child. The good news was that we would have a family and become parents. The bad news was that we weren’t married, we had no house, no job, and were living in Africa where I was a missionary. We

Thoughts in Uncertainty #5

When will this be over? In 1984 I volunteered to start a mission in Zimbabwe in Sub-Saharan Africa. I went as part of a team to accompany the people who lived there to meet their needs as best we could. My first few years were grim. Deep poverty and starvation surrounded me, along with crop failures because of drought. Diseases were rampant, especially malaria, which I got three times while I lived there. For the first year, I could hardly speak to anyone because I didn't know the language. Friends, family, and colleagues were at home in Toledo, and I felt alone and separated from everything familiar. Over time, I learned the language, made new friends, and adjusted to the new reality of hea

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