Does it feel like you spend all of your time
planning for the future?
- The next vacation
- Downsizing after the kids leave
- A job promotion or the next job
- Saving for the kids’ college education
- Long-term healthcare
My mind and time seem to revolve around this future focus a lot. I’m not saying planning is bad, it’s necessary. But sometimes it seems to preoccupy my entire focus.
Or I end up trying to
fix a past mistake.
That’s another circle of thought in which I can get trapped.
- How could I have done that better?
- What lesson did I miss in childhood that would have kept me from making that poor decision?
- Is there a way I can stop the pain of __________? Every time I think about this I feel bad about myself.
Do you ever find yourself trapped in these vicious circles of thinking? Spinning and spinning, but never coming up with any solution. You end up just feeling worse about yourself. After I’ve circled this vortex of time waste I realize:
“I’ve completely missed the best moments of today.”
The only real influence I have in my life is RIGHT NOW.
However, this is a tough concept to wrap my brain around.
I can do everything in my power to influence my:
But the truth is I have zero control of the future. I know this is a shock. It shocks me every time I re-realize this as a truth of the entire universe but…
“I have no control over future events except the way I think and behave in those events.”
And – the past events I dwell on are – the past. I don’t have a time machine, so I definitely cannot change these. Can I learn from them – YES! But change them – NO!
Do you experience this planning and review cycle that ends up being a waste of hours, days, years, or is it just me?
What I realize is that even though I’m not in control, God is. He understands every thought, regret, and hope that I have and has made a plan for my life. This plan includes ALL my relationships including my spouse, kids, parents, co-workers, neighbors, dry cleaners, bank teller, hair stylist, everyone. And it includes every moment of every day from before I was born through eternity.
“I know the plans I have made for you, declares the Lord, Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11).
Do I influence this grand plan? Absolutely! I still have free will to make choices and decisions that can move me away from God’s plan, but ultimately the plan is still in place. It’s my choice whether to follow or not. When I make those decisions to veer, it just takes more mental and physical energy to pull away.
The more I get off course trying to manipulate the future or pay for the past, the more exhausted I get. It’s this constant inner justification process, trying to convince myself that I’m doing the right thing.
So how do I get back to living in and for today instead of continuing to self-direct my life by planning for future events that may never happen?
Live in the today space. God can only influence your life in the moment. It’s like you’re walking through a forest in a dense fog only being able to see 2 feet ahead in any direction. Ask God which direction to go right this minute and move there. Rinse and Repeat!!!
A Note from God to you and me.
I Am Perpetually With You, taking care of you. That is the most important fact of your existence. I am not limited by time or space; therefore, My Presence with you is a forever-promise. You need not fear the future, for I am already there. When you make that quantum leap into eternity, you will find Me awaiting you in heaven. Your future is in My hands; I release it to you day by day, moment by moment. Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow.
I want you to live this day abundantly, seeing all there is to see, doing all there is to do. Don’t be distracted by future concerns. Leave them to Me! Each day of life is a glorious gift, but so few people know how to live within the confines of today. Much of their energy for abundant living spills over the time line into tomorrow’s worries or past regrets. Their remaining energy is sufficient only for limping through the day, not for living it to the full. I am training you to keep your focus on My Presence in the present. This is how to receive abundant Life, which flows freely from My throne of grace.
Matthew 6:34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
John 10:10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
James 4:13-15 Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” 14 Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 15 Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” Daily Devotional from “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young