The Riddle of Clarity

There is this riddle in my life:

What is something I constantly seek, and when I think I have it, it slips away in a fog?

Clarity.

I search for clarity in regards to God’s will, his calling, some nugget of direction, and it often alludes me. I feel like a person in the dark with arms outstretched groping for the light switch, but only finding the dimmer switch.

Not that it’s necessarily a bad thing.

There are clear things in my life.

It is clear to me that:

  • Just when I despair that winter will never be over, the dark green shoots of daffodils begin to break through the dull, winter-singed earth, and suddenly, there is the wondrous, yellow face of the flower boldly declaring to all that “spring is here!”
  • There is nothing so sweet as when my grandchildren say, “Nana.”
  • Laughter shared with people I love and cherish is the most beautiful experience.
  • As I inch closer and more quickly toward the bridge which will lead me from this world into the next, no matter how much I study and seemingly gain knowledge, I continue to live this life “looking through a glass darkly.”
  • The Bible is my source for living this life, not so much in where I go, but rather in how I go.

There is this lovely scene in the movie “The Shack” where Sarayu leads Mac into her garden to help her with a project. As they enter, Mac looks around at the wildness and disorder and declares the garden “a mess.” Sarayu quietly smiles and tells him it is beautiful, and the garden is actually his life. The camera begins to float up and we get a bird’s eye view of the garden. This chaos is no longer a mess, but a well-ordered mosaic of plants and flowers.

This scene caught me by surprise, and I gave an audible gasp. Tears came to my eyes as I realized that from God’s point of view, my life, which at times seems to be in hopeless disarray, is actually a work of art.

Photo Credit: Damien Weidner damienaweidner.co

While I have often desired the clear path, with answers to difficult questions, and knowing which way to turn, more often than not, I have journeyed in this life with one tentative step after another. Sometimes the steps have led to difficult places, sometimes to places of great joy.

If there is clarity in my life, it is in the knowledge that my life is totally dependent on God. I’m not as sure as I once was that He is as interested in the places where my journey takes me, as He is in the process of the journey. That is my faithfulness and trust in Him, my obedience, my regard for my neighbors, etc.

And this journey through life may always be one of steps taken – one after another- feeling my way as I go- always reliant on God. I guess when it comes down to it: I believe that clarity is more about the opening of our eyes to see the truth, than about the clear way of direction.

From His panorama, it all makes sense, anyway.

There’s a song from years ago sung by Rich Mullins, which tends to come back to me now and again:

Sometimes the night was beautiful
Sometimes the sky was so far away
Sometimes it seemed to stoop so close
You could touch it but your heart would break
Sometimes the morning came too soon
Sometimes the day could be so hot
There was so worth much left to do
But so much you’d already done

Oh God, You are my God
And I will ever praise you
Oh God, You are my God
And I will ever praise you
And I will seek You in the morning
And I will learn to walk in Your ways
And step by step You’ll lead me
And I will follow You all of my days

Sometimes I think of Abraham
How one star he saw had been lit just for me
He was a stranger in this land
And I am that no less than he
And on this road to righteousness
Sometimes the climb can be so steep
I may falter in my steps
But never beyond Your reach

Oh God, You are my God
And I will ever praise You
Oh God, You are my God
And I will ever praise You
I will seek You in the morning
And I will learn to walk in Your ways
And step by step You’ll lead me
And I will follow You all of my days
And I will follow You all of my days
And I will follow You all of my days
And step by step You’ll lead me
And I will follow You all of my days

 

Grace & Such strives to advance Christian growth among women. While we believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God, we also recognize human interpretations are imperfect. Grace & Such encourages our readers to open their Bibles, pray for wisdom and study for themselves what the Word says. For more about who we are, please visit the About Us page.
Rebecca Montie Preston
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Rebecca Montie Preston

Becky is a Spiritual Director from southeastern Pennsylvania.Her other roles include wife, mother of two, and grandmother of six.She has her MA from Biblical Theological Seminary, and studied at Renovare Institute for Spiritual Formation and Kairos School for Spiritual Direction.
Rebecca Montie Preston
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12 thoughts on “The Riddle of Clarity

  1. Diane Karchner

    Thanks for giving clarity to the un-clarity, Becky!
    “I believe that clarity is more about the opening of our eyes to see the truth, than about the clear way of direction.” Seeing truth doesn’t make it to the To-Do checklist so it’s so easy to miss the need and simplicity of it! As usual your reflection gives me pause…

    Reply

    1. Rebecca Preston

      Interesting. I see your point. The need for truth preempts the need for direction. Often we are looking so hard for direction, that truth is often pushed aside.

      Reply

  2. Jen

    “If there is clarity in my life, it is in the knowledge that my life is totally dependent on God.” Sometimes that’s the only thing I’m sure of.

    Reply

    1. Rebecca Preston

      Exactly. Sometimes, I think clarity is over-emphasized. People, like me, feel that they have missed out on something when there is no clarity given. Perhaps, in the end, our lives are about following Jesus, one small step in front of the other.

      Reply

  3. Michele S McMillan

    Sometimes when I desire and ask for clarity, the Holy Spirit brings to mind Deut. 29:29, which says, “The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law”. The secret things are those things, good and bad, that we just can’t figure out “why”; however, the things revealed are His Word. Even when we don’t exactly understand His Word, it is given to us (revealed) so that we may obey it. We can only obey it by the Holy Spirit. Thank you for sharing your faith and dependence on God.

    Reply

    1. Rebecca Preston

      Love that verse! I think the “why” might be known when we enter the fullfillment of His kingdom, and then, again, maybe it won’t matter once we’re there.

      Reply

  4. Marilyn Bartha

    “…clarity is more about the opening of our eyes to see the truth, than about the clear way of direction….”
    Amen! May my eyes be always open to see the truth even though it is not easy as seeing a clear direction.
    Thank you!

    Reply

  5. Rebecca Preston

    Amen!

    Reply

  6. Diane Tarantini

    Four things: I love your riddle. I have often searched for the same things as you–to know His will for me and to know His calling on my life. I want to see “The Shack.” And I love this song!

    Reply

  7. Rebecca Preston

    All I can say is: I’ve seen the Shack twice and cried my way through each time…but in a good way! Hope you can see it soon.

    Reply

  8. Gretchen Hanna

    I need to see the Shack, girlfriend! Also, this really spoke to me: “I’m not as sure as I once was that He is as interested in the places where my journey takes me, as He is in the process of the journey. That is my faithfulness and trust in Him, my obedience, my regard for my neighbors, etc.”.
    I have found that in my own tentative steps, too. I tell my young adult ministry that they need to take a step. If they are listening with their hearts, God will tell them when they’re out of bounds. I think He probably delights in their creativity.

    Reply

  9. Rebecca Preston

    I think the idea that we will have complete clarity is a guilt producer…it is more like taking a step at a time. It’s all about faith and trust, which seems to be a theme. 🙂

    BTW, I think you’ll really like The Shack!

    Reply

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