Bo White

Ideas and Grace over Coffee

How to use the F word, part 4

 

After looking at F words like freedom, faith, and fear, on this post I want to direct our attention to the future. No, I have no amazing prediction or innovative company to discuss at this point, today, though, have you noticed how often we miss the present because we’re either discouraged by our past or obsessed with the latest and greatest? Seriously, there are now phone plans that include an automatic change in phones because people don’t want to miss out on the latest model and businesses gladly feed such an addictive illness.

The future comes at all of us 24 hours at a time and no one I know can predict tomorrow. I used to think being a weather man would be cool because it’s one of the few jobs you can be wrong half the time and still remain employed. Someone I know calls himself a futurist and frankly, I don’t even know what the hell that means. Today, be careful that you’ll miss opportunity not because it’s hiding, but because your obsession with whatever is coming next will cloud your mind to think that the future should turn out the way you want it to.

Part of our problem with the future is that we all have plans and many of them are often interrupted. And what we like about the future is not the unknown, but the potential that we’d be rewarded for hard work, the desire for dreams to come true, the obsession that we deserve to have what we want because, well, the world owes us for our hard work. Yet, what would happen if our future plans and present day to day routine were completely tied together?

I had the privilege of meeting and listening to the late Dallas Willard on a retreat a few years back and in one of his talks he instructed us that spiritual formation is linked to Vision, Intention, and Means. My world was rocked a bit as he unpacked his thinking. We should have a vision for the life that follows Jesus and then we should be intentional about utilizing the gifts inside and outside us to pursue a countercultural life. The future is unknown, this is true, but imagine being intentional about pursuing it day by day. When we try to tackle the future all at once it become overwhelming and often paralyzing, but what  happens if our vision becomes intentional in the here and now?

We spend a lot of time trying to prepare for the future and brace ourselves for the future, but today, it might be worth creating a vision for the future that can be intentionally lived out in the present tense. Is this difficult? Yes, because few people are actually doing it. But, it’s worth the effort because your future success may depend on it.

“Never let the future disturb you. You will meet it, if you have to, with the same weapons of reason which today arm you against the present.”  (Marcus Aurelius)

And Brian Regan on Donut Shops

one of my favorite sketches on being overwhelmed and on choices we make everyday….

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