The Tyranny of Not Knowing

by | May 28, 2020 | Leadership

I have a confession to make:

I?m worried and I don?t know how to stop being worried.

I?m worried about my family, my neighbors, the healthcare workers, the first responders, those who are sick, those who are grieving, business owners, and those out of work.

In other words, I?m worried about everyone and I?m worried about them all the time.

The other day I was trying to get at the root of this worry, beyond the obvious.

What it came down to is that I just don?t know. I don?t know how or when this uncertainty ends and I don?t know how exactly I’m supposed to navigate the world, right now.

In normal times making leadership decisions is hard enough. However, we usually have data and past experience to guide us. There’s a formula we can use to solve the problem.

So many church leaders are facing what seem like almost impossible choices, all in the context of fuzzy data and a hyper-charged political atmosphere: When do we start gathering in person? How do we do that? Who do we include? What if the decision we make hurts someone? What if I?m overreacting? How do we help people who are out of work? What about those who are depressed and lonely? Will my congregation judge me? Will my colleagues judge me? Am I doing enough? Is it good enough?

Am I good enough?

When I find myself asking that last question, I pick up the phone.

I?ve been talking to friends, family members, and colleages on the phone, or over video chat, much more than I usually do. There?s been a lot of laughter, tears, anxiety, and ?I don?t knows.? There have also been moments of clarity, breakthrough, and hope. Questions that I didn?t know needed to be asked, problems I didn?t know that needed to be solved, and solutions that surprised me. All things that I never would have figured out on my own.

How do we get through this? I don?t know. The only thing I do know is that we are only going to do it if we do it together.



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