Thursday, August 12, 2010
DO IT ANYWAY
A few days ago, I saw an old shrimp boat leaving the bayou. It was headed out into the bay. Maybe the gulf.
A month ago, the shrimpers didn't know if they would shrimp again this season. They didn't know if they would be allowed to shrimp next year, or the next.
A month ago, they didn't know if the bayou, and the bay, and the gulf, would be full of oil.
Many shrimpers and fishermen in the area didn't know how they would feed their families, pay their bills, and meet their mortgages. They didn't know if the promises made for compensation would be kept.
A month ago, they didn't know that the leaking oil well would be capped. That it would be sealed. They didn't know that the oil that has flowed out of the busted well, for almost a third of a year, would be flowing no more.
They have lived with much uncertainty.
And they still do.
The shrimpers don't know what effect the oil has had on the shrimp in the gulf. They don't believe the oil came into the bay and the bayous, but they don't know for sure.
They don't know what effects the dispersants will have on shrimp larvae and small, young shrimp. They won't know until next year.
The shrimpers don't know if they will be able to sell the shrimp they catch. Will their catch be determined to be safe and oil-free?
We are now approaching the height of hurricane season.
It doesn't take a major storm to keep boats docked. To keep nets out of the water. Small tropical storms can take away many days the shrimpers need to earn their income.
Shrimpers live with uncertainty but they know that today there are shrimp to catch. They are ready to drop their nets and to do what they know how to do.
They don't let the uncertainty of tomorrow keep them from doing what they need to do today.
I have a lot of uncertainty in my life. And, I don't like it. I'm afraid of it. If I'm not careful I will let uncertainty paralyze me. I will let it keep me from doing what I know needs to be done. I will even let it paralyze me from doing the things I love to do.
I'd like to know the agenda. I'd like to think that if I at least knew what was coming, I could ward off some of the bad stuff or, at least, prepare myself for it. But knowing isn't part of walking by faith.
When I remind God that I'd like to know what's on the schedule, He reminds me that I don't need to know. He's promised to be right in the middle of whatever comes my way, and that is all I need to know.