Have you ever been on a hike and become parched and thirsty. The heat is unbearable and all you want to do is to get to the end of the trail to a nice ice cold bottle of water and rest. As you come up the next rise you can see the end of the trail in the distance. It doesn’t seem that far off and you are so ready to reach it, then you come over the next rise and it doesn’t seem to be any closer. It seems that it is just out of reach. To me the future seems to be some unattainable place in the distance. Once we get to a place thinking we have arrived, we look up and the future is still out there looming before us.
I tend to think of the future- a lot. I can find myself living there as opposed to living in the here and now. I think of and pray about where the Lord wants me in one year, five years or even ten years. I can tend to focus on “one day” and not on today. I look back over my life and look at all of the time I spent thinking about what will be. What did I miss while being in the future?
All of the best time management advice tells you to plan for the future- set goals- have a strategy. I’m not knocking goal setting and planning, I love to make a plan and love to work my plan. But, we can work our plan to the point that we miss out on His plan. Do we miss out on the butterfly that is bringing wonder to the life of our child because we have dinner to cook or dishes to wash. Do we put off times of intimacy with our husbands because of everything that is on our to-do list?
It seems that the future is somewhere out there in the distance, but I believe to the Lord the future has a much different look. It has to do with the next moment. What choice will I make; where will my focus be? Will I help my neighbor? Will I stop folding the laundry to cuddle with my husband? Will I read that book to my child for the 1,000th time?
In scripture we are told to pray without ceasing. To me this is like having a chat room open with God all of the time. As bumps come into my day, I need to pause and say a quick prayer asking the Lord what His will is for me in this moment and how does this fit into His future plan for me. Sometimes the answers are obvious; sometimes they are harder. We can have so many good opportunities in our lives that it can be difficult to see His best opportunities. I can remember a year when my girls were little that I didn’t teach in VBS. I had many things happening in my life at that time and after much prayer Gene and I felt I should sit that year out. Most people didn’t understand that decision. I was told so many times that it was a good thing. Yes, it was, but for me, at that time it wasn’t God’s best thing for me.
Trust in the Lord to guide you to His best future for you. Keep communication open and rely on the Holy Spirit for direction. Pray over your long term goals and well as what happens moment by moment. By all means set goals and make a plan, but don’t let your plan keep you from doing the Lord’s work whenever it comes your way. I have found it helpful to ask the Lord for direction & wisdom for the day before I even place a foot on the floor. Often I will need that direction and wisdom within moments. The Lord is merciful and patient with us. He wants to help us and direct us, trust Him to show you the way and to be there to guide you in all you do.