Thursday, August 31, 2006

Media: NPR's This I Believe

The local public radio station, KUAR, has expanded NPR's segment, "This I Believe" and invited listeners to submit their essays. Here is mine:

This I Believe

I believe in God’s deeply rich sense of humor, manifested as mixed feelings in my life. I often find myself feeling strongly both ways about the universal and picayune alike when such matters seem perfectly clear cut to others. This divine irony is rooted in the only reality that is certain – uncertainty - a state whose comforts I try and embrace as if old friend. Antithetical as it sounds, uncertainty is the only sure “thing” and that is not necessarily a bad thing.

I am not certain about a lot of things. I am not certain if the Bible was divinely inspired, Republicans really were the Party of Lincoln, or the Beatles were more important than the Rolling Stones. I am not certain that blood is thicker than water, might makes right, or Coke is better than Pepsi.

Uncertainty makes me cautious and thoughtful when confronted with the new and unfamiliar. My first impressions are exactly that, first impressions, and they are often wrong. If I act on first impressions, I lose the lesson uncertainty would have doubtlessly taught me. Uncertainty enhances my acceptance and stops me from acting abruptly only to regret my action later. It is a safety net. Uncertainty keeps me softened in compassion as my current circumstances are subject to uncertain and possibly unwelcome changes. Uncertainty is the spiritual exegesis for faith, hope, and unconditional love, all which depend on its fickle nature for purpose and existence.

Rather than be frustrated with God’s sense of humor, I assimilate it and understand it as the fluid wisdom that it is. The only certainty is uncertainty and in that uncertainty is faith, hope and love.

© Copyright, C. Michael Bailey, 2006