Several days ago, I rushed my wife to the emergency room. She was complaining of pain and becoming more and more delirious as each minute passed. By the time we got to the hospital, she had no idea where she was at and could say only three words consistently. 

Twelve. Fourteen. Zack. 

Those three words made up most of her communication for the next hour or so. There's no significance to those words in particular. We had been counting in the car in an attempt to keep her alert when she got stuck on those two numbers, and my identity seemed to be one of the few things she was sure of. 

By this time, she had little control over her arms and legs. Her eyes were alert though, and she was picking up bits and pieces of what was happening around her. It was like a light was being turned off and on at random in her mind. 

She was evaluated by two doctors, responding most of the time with those three words, and then looking at me with longing in her eyes. She knew what she wanted to say, but couldn't make the words come out. The moments of lucidity were becoming fewer and farther between.

After a scan, the ER staff decided to treat this as a stroke. Thankfully, she did not have a stroke - the term TIA was tossed around a couple of times. Whatever the actual diagnosis turns out to be (the cause is unknown at this time), the medication they gave worked and, incredibly, only an hour later, Terri was mostly herself again. 

Uncertainty, as well as ways to deal with it, are important things to work through. These themes will show up often in this space. Episodes like the one above only serve to emphasize this reality: uncertainty is a part of life. It's not a flaw - it's part of the design. 

Because we don't know how things will turn out - because we can't know the future - we encounter uncertainty. If the future were known then there would be no uncertainty, but you'd also have no choices to make. Everything would be determined for you. Uncertainty is a function of human judgement. Your ability (and responsibility) to make choices exist because uncertainty exist. 

Further, uncertainty is not doubt. Uncertainty is simply a statement of fact. We don't know the future, and therefore uncertainty exists. Doubt is a qualitative statement. It is a comment on the quality of our faith. We don't cause uncertainty to exist, but doubt is our own. 

We can't succumb to doubt. Our lives matter too much. Even though we don't know what will happen next, God has called us, and leads us, to more. Now is the time follow God into the uncertainty and see what happens.

With this in mind, here are three questions I've been working through:

What are you creating?

This question is about contribution. What are you giving to those around you? You can create all sorts of things, from books to physical objects to memories. Creativity is an important part of being human. Our lives, and even the whole world itself, move forward through our collective creativity. 

What are you building?

This question is about the totality of your life. What kind of life are you putting together? When you look back at each thing you have created, and look forward to what you're working on next, consider how each piece contributes to the whole tapestry.

There is an important follow up question to ask yourself here as you think about what you are building. Have you given too much space to things that don't matter now and won't matter later?

What are you waiting for?

Sometimes, it's the patient who prosper. Scripture talks in the book of Isaiah that those who wait on the Lord will renew their strength. Waiting and patience are inescapable realities of life. Here's the hard part of this question: are you waiting on God, or are you just afraid? To answer this question takes both humility and courage. Pause and work through this for a minute.

It's okay to question yourself. Especially after traumatic events, it's natural for us to think about things in ways we may have avoided previously. How much more mature would we be, though, if we didn't wait for events to force us to ask ourselves hard questions?