Surrendering to Uncertainty

Scientists recognize the unpredictability of nature, and have been trying to make sense of it. Even the most seemingly simple events are governed by this unpredictability.

When and where will bubbles appear in a pot of boiling water? What patterns will be made by the smoke of a lit cigarette? How does the position of water molecules at the top of a waterfall relate to their eventual position at the bottom? God might just as well have taken all those water molecules under the table and shuffled them personally.

The new science of chaos is attempting to predict the unpredictable through intricate mathematical models. In the classic example, a butterfly flutters its wings in Texas and there is a typhoon in Tokyo six days later.

The connection may not seem obvious, but it exists. That little change of air pressure caused by the butterfly can get multiplied and magnified, resulting in a tornado. But it can never be entirely predicted. Thatís why weather forecasters seem to be wrong so often, and why any forecast longer than about forty-eight hours away is unreliable. Yet among all the possible occurrences in the world, weather is more predictable than just about anything else.

What this says on a spiritual level is that we can never really know what direction life will take, what changes those small butterfly-flutters of intention and action might cause in our destiny.

At the same time, it also tells us that we can never really truly know the mind of God. We can never fully understand the how, where, and when of anything, even something as simple as boiling water. We have to surrender to uncertainty, while appreciating its intricate beauty.

Adapted from The Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire, by Deepak Chopra (Three Rivers Press).


Dot A.
Dot A5 years ago

does anyone remember good ol' Gomer Pyle? -his philosophy in life could be pretty much sized up as:

surprise surprise SURPRISE!

actually, the guy had things pretty well prioritized -
live life with the attitude of expecting a surprise

things stay fresh that way
seems like it was intended to be that way,....

surprise surprise SURPRISE - seems like a lot more fun that way!!!

Hassan C.
Hassan C.5 years ago

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Robert O.
Robert O5 years ago

All we can do is come to terms with it and accept it the best way we know how. Thanks.

Quanta Kiran
Quanta Kiran5 years ago


Lynn C.
Lynn C5 years ago

Just when I've spent the last few days saying "What in the H-E double toothpicks am I doing here???" You know how it goes - the bottom drops out of your perception of what life's all about - and it doesn't have to be any real earth-shaking event - and the feeling of being in a meaningless game starts to go round and round in the ol' race-car brain...soooo, this article comes along, and I may not feel any better, but maybe God is having fun?

As usual, Shakespeare said it best:
"Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more; it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing..
I can only add Amen!

Ken W.
Ken W5 years ago


Vicky P.
Vicky P5 years ago


Charlotte A.
Arthur A5 years ago

Loving life is loving mystery.

Jane H.
Jane H5 years ago

That's the sure truth--expect the unexpected!

Bill Eagle
Bill E5 years ago

The world is filled with uncertainty. We need to be ready for change and accept it in as positively as possible.