“The mercy of the world is you don't know what's going to happen.” ― Wendell Berry, Jayber Crow
As children, and then young adults, we start out into this world without a very good sense of who we are. The older we get, the more we realize our capacities, our strengths, our weaknesses, our gifts from God, and the things that we will never accomplish. If I had known from the start the gifts I would be given, I might have set out to take advantage of those abilities and might not have attempted some other things. I would have been a lesser man for taking that approach; for we learn our true weight in the world by testing our legs. One cannot truly learn that they are good at something until they try, practise, and perfect that ability. Conversely, one does not learn their weaknesses and disabilities without a good number of attempts and failures.
Despite our questions, insecurities, curiosities, and frustrations, God has given us a good gift in not allowing us to know our futures. "When the trumpet of the Lord shall sound, and time shall be no more" we will look back over our lives with an eye to how the story was woven together from its many balls of yarn. We will see the smooth and harmonious colours of the ordered portions of our lives and we will see the snarls, loose loops, broken strands, and clashing colours of the places along the way in which we made small and large mistakes - and the times when the horror of the world impinged upon the fabric of life. Then, we will know how much we have been blessed, the true nature of our work will be understood, and we will appreciate the full grace of the One who holds all of the fabrics together in the tapestry of a collected community.