I know it’s coming, but I’m not prepared.

Fill in the blank with “it.” It could be dinnertime each day. I’m not prepared to answer the daily question, “What’s for dinner?”

“It” could be the next difficult season up ahead, or it could the wildest season of joy.

Why do I assume it will be the worst? The truth is, life is often both at once, servings of delight mixed with grief.

I know the joy of fullness, the ache of emptiness, and the confusion of finding myself in a land of dry bones.

As I walk along the mountains and valleys of this physical life, I know this much: I don’t want to feast on this charcuterie alone, abundant with the sweet, sour, and savory, whether sumptuous or skimpy. I want the souls of others around me, feasting together in the buffet of this beauty-ravaged life.

Some of us are plotters—we plan ahead, write out each detail of the day, and manage schedules, events, tasks, and vacations as precisely as the atomic clock.

Some of us are flying by the seat of our pants, hoping and praying not to make a mess of it and spill it all on our shirts.

Maybe the rest of us fall somewhere in between.

No matter how much planning we do, we live in a world replete with unknowns. We know what we’ve scheduled across the landscape of a day, but we are unaware of the unexpected (both the welcome and unwanted) that await each of us.

In the past month alone, a 26-year-old I know died of cancer and a 12-year-old died in a tragic accident.

And that’s only a portion of it. I’ve laughed and cried and asked God hard questions in my own little dot on this planet, and no doubt, you’ve done the same.

Read the rest of the post at The Mudroom….