I hate living in the reality of “Maybe”… “Yes” I can live with. “No” may suck, but you know the boundary. But, “Maybe”… I have never been good with saying “maybe,” especially as a dad. My kids believed that “maybe” meant “yes.” There were many times, though, they were disappointed when “maybe” turned into “no.” I used “maybe” as a tool to buy time to think through the answer, but I answered “yes” with my actions enough times that they expected “yes.” Shame on me. A true “maybe” is kind of brutal. You don’t know how to prepare yourself. You have to live in the tension of the question going either way. So you live a sort of unoccupied present. Your bags are packed, yet you neither unpack nor move them to a different place. So, you sit, motionless.
The danger of “Maybe” is in letting your dreams die. We may tell ourselves “Maybe” because we are afraid to sell out. So we hesitate. Hesitation can breed selling out the best to purchase the comfortable. But determining the best can be very hard, let alone risking everything we have known to pursue something new. So we say “maybe” to ourselves as a way to protect ourselves from the apprehension of choosing to change yet keeping the promise of “the good life” that will take place when we occupy the new reality. Living in this “maybe” however, can steal precious moments and hours and days and months and years…. and decades. Opportunities are lost. Dreams die. Unless and until something pushes or pulls us into taking the risk.
However, another kind of “maybe” isn’t really “maybe” at all, but feels like “maybe.” When we ask God for something, and there is silence… or at least we can’t determine God’s voice. The value of this “maybe” is in the waiting. If we will allow it, this “maybe” calls us to search for God’s voice. “Is He speaking, and I am not hearing?” We become more attentive to learning how to know God more deeply. That search gives life and actually makes us more alive in the present. Seeking an answer is supplanted by seeking God. In seeking God, we might find the answer we sought is replaced by new questions, and the original question is no longer relevant. Our life is no longer a road trip in which we venture alone, and seek God as our personal GPS unit, giving us both our position and direction to the next tourist spot. Instead, it is a long walk along dusty roads, and narrow trails climbing mountainsides bordered by rocky precipices, and through green meadows, and beside quiet streams… accompanied by a beloved Companion.
Knowing how to be wise in living in the second “maybe” and not lost in the first is the challenge. I would like to say I am firmly living in the present journey, yet I still struggle with wanting what I want when I want it. I am still a 2-year-old sometimes. Living in the vacume that is sometimes my reality can be hard. But, that is part of the “maybe” in this moment. The “possibilities” of tomorrow can steal today if I’m not careful. I must allow my Companion care for tomorrow, because He knows the territory ahead through which our walk will traverse.
I will trust Him and at least for today, there’s no “maybe” about it.