What You Don't Know

Three Things You Don't Know

1.  What you Don't Know

I've always appreciated the saying, "You don't know what you don't know." How true that is. There have been so many times when I thought I knew some things, only to discover, I didn't know nearly as much as I thought I did. I didn't know what I didn't know. I would also discover that some things I thought I knew . . . well, it turned out I didn't know them very well. I only knew them partially.

So, what don't you know?
That's hard to know!

2.  The Future?

You also don't know what the future holds. Oh sure, we can make some educated guesses that can be pretty accurate, at times. We can also assume that the routines we have and the results they produce, will continue to produce the same thing. We can generally assume the principle of cause and effect. If I do certain good things, then I will most likely get good results. Likewise, if I do bad things, I should not be surprised at undesirable results.

But beyond that...

To use another quotes that has been around for quite some time: "Expect the unexpected." Random happens. Change happens. Accidents happen. Bad weather happens (especially for outdoor weddings)! Covid happens.

Go back to the fall of 2019 and remember what life was like. Now think of what life is like today. Would anyone have guessed life would unfold the way it did the last several years?

Since we don't know the future, most of us have contingency plans in the case that some things happen. We purchase insurance to protect ourselves against some bad things happening and hope we never have to use it. The insurance companies hope that as well, but that is another post.

Because we don't know the future, and because you can't have a contingency plan for everything, we have to develop the interior qualities of grit and resilience. Christians know we need to nurture the growth of faith, hope, and trust as well.

Because even though we don't know what the future holds, we do know who holds the future. It is always a good thing to know God.

3.  How Far You Can Go

Here is one more thing you don't know. You don't know how far you can go. You don't know how much capability is inside you. You don't know your potential. Your capacity. You simply cannot see in you what God knows is in you.
Once again, faith, hope, and trust are needed to step out and see how far you can go.
How much you can grow.
What new and better things you can accomplish.
What wider influence you can develop.

I was an avid bicyclist in my late teen years and early twenties. After a back injury I assumed that riding would not be good for my back and I took decades off from riding. A few years ago, after we moved to a new place close to the Heritage Rail Trail, I got a bike to "try" riding again.

After several times of riding a few miles, I decided to try a 10 mile ride. I honestly did not know if I could ride that far. I did. A few days later, I thought I would try for 15 miles. I did that. And I slowly built up to riding 30 miles. That was a goal I didn't even have the first time I got on a bike.

Now, a few years later, if I can't get at least 30 miles of riding in, it doesn't seem worth going out for a ride. I've ridden over 100 miles and when I was done, I wondered - how many more miles I could go?

A few years ago, I just didn't know my capacity for riding. I may be nearing my upper range, but, I just don't know and won't know if I don't try to ride further. 
We are all like this.

We are all like this about things much more important than riding a bike.

We don't know how much of a prayer life we could experience... how much of the Bible we could learn... the kinds of service we could offer to others... the ministries we could advance... the deeper relationship we could have with Jesus... the conversations we could have with those who think very differently than we do... the list goes on.

We just don't know, and we won't know until we start trying to go further.

When we do, we will find all the resources and blessing of God as we press on to the better life God envisions for us.

So dream a little.
Take some steps.
Take some more steps.
Keep taking steps to try, learn, grow, improve, advance in things that matter.

And when you think you are getting close to your upper limits... well you just won't know until you go further.

Pastor Brian Rice
p.s.  I "think" I could do 150 miles in a day.  Hmmm...
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