I’ll admit it: I’m not sure about more and more things. This is new territory for me, and not because I’ve crossed the border into senility. What’s happening almost everywhere? There actually may be less to be certain about.
Here’s an example: A *recent newspaper article highlighted the decreasing reliability of tiny computer chips that are essential to our lifestyles. Increasingly, failures of the switches inside these chips have appeared during the complexities of daily use. According to the article, the problem is apparent, but difficult to diagnose. The malfunctions show up only after product testing procedures have cleared the chips for use. The tiny switches may be nearing their physical limits, perhaps no longer trustworthy.
Our minds and souls are pummeled by widespread mistrust, the proliferation of liars in leadership, worker shortages, dueling news sources and supply-chain problems. Social media technologies allow almost anyone to spread their opinions as truth. These continuing phenomena suggest why we might have a hard time being confident about many things, many people, many institutions.
There’s more to this story, though. We may not be certain about some smaller elements of life, but we can be sure about what’s important, what works and what’s fundamental: The values and virtues that accompany people of faith into our daily lives. Life qualities like grace, patience, forgiveness, kindness, a sense of purpose beyond self-gratification, hope and courage. Assurance of God’s presence, obedience to the law of love, wisdom that doesn’t depend on knowing everything.
By the work of the Holy Spirit, we do know that no matter how little we can be sure of the smaller things in life, we can see how God’s will and God’s providence are rock-solid dependable.
Knowing what I do know, I’m not going to worry about what I don’t know….
*February 10, 2022, The Chicago Tribune, Section 2, page 6. “Tiny chips, giant headaches”. From an article authored by John Markoff of The New York Times. The story cites unnamed Facebook and Google researchers and production teams working to understand and correct this growing problem.