An Uncertain Future

An Uncertain Future

Pentecost 95


Today is the first day of September.  As I write this, many in Florida are preparing for Hurricane Hermine while others have escaped flood waters that have already inundated some homes from the storms that arrived ahead of the hurricane.  At the same time in another state, Hawaiians are hoping to withstand the rains and storms of not one but two tropical weather events.  Welcome to September!


The future awaits us all but only if we prepare for it.  We must use our own personal force within to live as healthy as we can.  It may not seem exciting but it will be worth it.  There are enough accidents in life that can create havoc with our health without creating chaotic lifestyles.  There are weather events occurring somewhere on the planet every hour.


Charles Palahniuk, better known as Chuck Palahniuk, is an example of an uncertain future.  He says he got into journalism when a fifth grade teacher evaluated a writing assignment: “Chuck, you do this really well.  And this is much better than setting fires, so keep it up.”  Palahniuk went on to major in journalism but soon tired of that and instead garnered a resume that included employment as a diesel mechanic, tech manual writer, and an escort for hospice patients.  He also joined the Cacophony Society, a group for those who consider themselves outside the mainframe of normalcy.


 Writing was never far away, though, and in his mid-thirties, Chuck Palahniuk took a journalism workshop.  The result of this was a work that was rejected so one might have assumed his writing career was over.  Chuck decided to take his Cacophony Society outlook to his writing and rewrote his book, making it a bit darker.  One might have thought it was journalistic suicide but Chuck decided to be true to himself.  A young editor liked his work and Palahniuk found himself to be a published author.  Then a movie studio bought the film rights and success seemed a guarantee.


The future is ever uncertain, however, and the film was a flop at the box office.  One of the marvels of modern technology is that nothing ever really dies.  Art is often resurrected via DVD’s, even what is considered “bad art”.  Whether or not such a thing exists is a conversation for another day but Chuck Palahniuk found his audience when the film “Fight Club” was released on DVD.  The film gained cult status and that gave Palahniuk freedom to write as he desired.  Editors stopped trying to rein him into the mainstream and recognized that art, like the future, is most exciting when we accept that it is uncertain.


Whether or not Hurricane Hermine will garner cult status depends on the prevailing winds.  Hopefully, those in her path are taking the proper precautions and there will be minimal damage and casualties.  The fact is that the future comes with no guarantees.  We do not know what we will face tomorrow.  We can only be true to ourselves and do our best.


 Chuck Palahniuk says “I am the combined effort of everyone I’ve ever known.”  That is an amazingly simple sentence with a wealth of truth contained within.  We all are the combined effort of everyone we’ve ever known.  What makes us extraordinary is when we allow ourselves to be authentic in our living.  That makes an ordinary person an extraordinary human being.  That is the first step toward an amazing future.  Today really is the first day of September and the first day of all our lives.  Let’s make it a great one!



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