The Unknown

Winter Beach RandallNot known; not within the range of one’s knowledge, experience, or understanding; strange; unfamiliar

Unrest and uncertainty are our lot.  Johan Wolfgang von Goethe

As a rule, what is out of sight disturbs men’s minds more seriously than what they see. Julius Caesar

The difference between what the most and the least learned people know is inexpressibly trivial in relation to that which is unknown. Einstein

   Human beings fear the unknown. It is often said that our greatest two fears are public speaking and death. Fearing the unknown could rank as high as third on the list. The fears of death and public speaking are directly related to the fear of the unknown. We fear death because we do not know what happens after death. We fear public speaking because we fear the possible consequences of fear and rejection if we fail. In both cases we fear the unknown. We have a tendency to fear that which we do not understand and that which we do not know. It is a wonder that we are all not supremely neurotic and paranoid. There is much we do not understand.

If we stopped to think about it, our lives are filled with uncertainty. We do not know how long we will live, how we will die, what our health issues may be, whether will be happy or not, financial secure or not; we worry about the future of our loved ones and a myriad of things that are very important to us. The undesirable traits of fear and worry come together as we contemplate our unknowns and ponder what the future brings. These things cause fear. The more we think about it the more fearful we become. Are we better off to keep our heads buried in the sand and to not think about what may await us? Fearing the unknowns can get very deep and complicated.

We are meant to live life to the fullest. An old commercial advocated living live with “gusto”. The bottom line is that the more effort we put into proactively living, the more we will be rewarded. Life involves risk and adventure. It is like a safari, we venture into the unknown not knowing what is waiting. We must deal with all that happens and deal with life’s challenges to the best of our abilities. We continue to learn and grow in the process. Our alternative is to stay back and hide within the confines of our comfort zone. If we always do what we’ve always done then we will always get what we’ve always got. Most of what we fear and worry about is irrational. We must step into the unknown if we are to go forward. It is not to be feared but to be experienced.

Challenge: If you never took risks, would you be able to ride a bike, swim, drive a car, or even find a spouse? Life is full of risks. You must take some risks to get your fair share of what life offers. An alternative is to be so fearful that you never step forward and do anything new and good for you. The majority of fears are irrational. Be mindful of how the fear of the unknown hinders your willingness to grow and stretch your boundaries.

Wisdom: As we know, there are known knowns. There are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns. That is to say, we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns; the ones we don’t know we don’t know. Donald Rumsfield

Spiritual: (NIV)

I can do all this through him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1

We live by faith, not by sight. 2 Corinthians 5:7

How would our lives be different if we were not influenced or controlled by fear? What would life look like if we knew we could not fail? Would we still fear the unknowns of life as we do now? Probably not. The Bible tells us we have the capability of having such a life. It involves having a personal and interactive relationship with God. He promises that He will be there to see us through all of life’s difficulties and challenges.

Prayer: Help me to overcome any fear in my life by always turning to you to give me faith and confidence.

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