Life is “like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.” The words from the 1994 film, Forrest Gump, pretty much nail it. We cannot foresee the future – but we sure expend loads of time and energy trying to predict and control it!
A few weeks ago, a close family member was admitted to hospice. He was hospitalized just prior to entering the hospice program, and the doctors told us his condition was “end stage,” and his days were limited.
He returned home under hospice care not expected to live more than a few days. We were advised that out of town family travel to visit him ASAP, and they did.
The beautiful and bittersweet connection left him with new strength as he enjoyed love, laughter, and precious memories.
Yet many of our interactions with our out of town family revolved around the eternal unanswered questions, – the quest to know and understand the why, the how, and the when.
The need to predict and control is hard wired in us dating back to the time we were cave dwellers. Our brains evolved to keep us safe from predators and operate in a survival mode.
We can spend an inordinate amount of time “connecting the dots” attempting to make sense out of our experiences while we miss out on the beauty of what’s unfolding in the moment.
But we also have the ability to step back and notice these patterns and decide if the need to predict is truly helping us. (Sometimes it may be.)
We cannot be certain of the future, but we can trust in the unknown.
Dr. Lissa Rankin reminds us: “…what if faith requires taking refuge in the unknown, resting there without knowing? What if this is where true peace lives? Trusting the unknown doesn’t protect you…but you may discover that …when you don’t know, anything is possible.”
We don’t know how much time our loved one has left, but we do know that this mystery has much to teach us about trust, “humility, resilience, and the art of being human.”