Is Ignorance Bliss?
Today, Oct. 12, 2017, was the day we were moving our mom into a perfect for her assisted living facility in Santa Rosa, California. Sadly, though, we didn’t. It burned to the ground on Monday in what is fast becoming the most deadly fire in California history.
This is one of many things that have unfolded in my life over the year that I never, ever thought would be true . . .
- My mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.
- My dad died.
- My husband has been unemployed for 7 months.
- People we love have lost everything.
- My mom evacuated from her home. We’re praying it doesn’t burn down.
And this is when I know that I really don’t want to know the future.
This is when I embrace the mystery of God’s perfect plan and purpose. (I don’t like it always, but I embrace it.)
This is when my life of faith makes all the difference.
I’m reposting one of my all time favorite posts. The bandwidth of my brain is so full of sadness and uncertainty that I’m pretty unable to be creative, or even be very nice to 6th graders. So I thought this would be great to repost, to reread, since this speaks deeply to me about how ignorance can be bliss.
Originally posted 1-16-14
I was in Yakima, WA, in November. One afternoon, a friend and I decided to take a hike to a winery on the other side of Cowiche Canyon. I could see where she was pointing to as our end destination, but I remember thinking, “There is no way we’re going that far. I must not be looking in the right place.”
I do love to hike. I wouldn’t do Half Dome, but I’m pretty much game for anything else. And really, how bad could it be. (I also thought that about giving birth – I’m pretty optimistic the first time around.)
We left her home on a beautiful, sparkly Sunday afternoon. Walking through acres of apple orchards, we passed grown-ups and dogs and children, a stroller or two. I mean, if a mom pushing a stroller could do it, I had nothing to worry about. We gradually descended into the canyon, talking and laughing and remembering other walks we’d been on together over the years.
Piece of cake, I’m thinking. Uh huh.
And then we started up the other side. Half Dome might have been better. (I actually spelled “doom” right now trying to spell Dome.) My friend was ahead of me and I stopped talking. Hard to talk as you’re gasping for air and thinking you’re going to throw up. She saw I was falling farther and farther behind, so she decided to let me lead.
We’d go at my pace.
My pace was – 1. couple of steps; 2. stop; 3. bend over, hands on knees; 4. wrestling with whether to admit I was DYING and we should absolutely turn around; 5. deciding to be brave; 6. couple of steps; 7. repeat other steps. It was slow going.
Finally, we left the Mt. Everest part and got to the gently but still sloping upward part.
I was a mess. I was nauseous, embarrassed and terrified that we weren’t going to be able to get back before dark.
We got to the winery. I was almost crying by now.
And instead of enjoying a taste or two and strolling leisurely around the grounds, we found the bathroom and then sat outside praying, asking God to give me strength and courage to make it home.
We stood up and got going. About halfway back it all began to be incredibly joyful again. Being outside in the beauty God created with my friend whom I love, having overcome a really bad situation.
Alzheimer’s. Death of a parent. Fire. Unemployment.
I think I’m glad God doesn’t point out the destination to me – I’m not sure I’d believe Him anyway. So, I start each day with another sense of adventure trusting that wherever He leads, He will stay by me and let me go at my own pace.
And when the faltering comes and the fear and fatigue, and it does and it will, He will pray strength and courage for me to make it home.
Life is hard. But God is good.