All of our lives, we are being prepared for the future. We live in the present, however, we look to the future. When we are in grammar school we are being prepared for junior high; in junior high we are being prepared for High School; and in High School we are being prepared for University. When we get to the university we are being prepared for our careers where we begin to prepare for our retirement. When retirement comes we spend our days figuring out what to do next, as we prepare for our death. The future is where we focus, while the present escapes us.
Do you ever wonder where the time has gone? We sit at moments and realize that we aren’t as young as we used to be, or how quickly the future is coming our way. This is what we have been taught from the very beginning. I can remember sitting at both of my daughters pre school graduation while the whole class gets up in front of the audience and one by one tell us all what they want to be when they grow up. Kayla (my oldest) wanted to be a teacher, Bryanna (my middle child) wanted to be a forensic anthropologist. All of the children were being trained to look and work for the future. They were being taught that if you want to be these things you have to work hard and keep your focus on the goal. As good as these principals are, and as important the future is, my question is; what are they to do when they get there?
We spend so much time teaching our children, or new believers to work for the future that we forget to teach them how to seize the moment. We forget to teach them how to live in the now and take advantage of the moments that stare them in the face waiting to be taken advantage of and enjoyed at present. We miss the opportunities that live in the now because we are so focused on the future, and the problem with this is that when we get to the future we have not learned what to do with those moments, so we continue to look towards a new future. The future must be prepared for, goals must be set, and work must be done to reach those goals, however, our moments are filled with opportunity, purpose, and life, and in missing them we miss out on the life God has called us to live today.
Living in the present doesn’t only include the victories and the wonderful smell of the roses, but the suffering and pricking of the thorn. We have to teach them to seize the moments when failure or suffering is present so that they may learn and grow. We must also learn to live in those moments, but more so be thankful for them. In those moments of suffering not only do we learn and grow, but we get to see the love and comfort that comes from God.
So prepare for the future, but prepare for the future of living in the now.
“Moments CArry the momentum of the past and fuel the momentum for the future.” Erwin McManus, “Chasing Daylight” pg. 17