This Sunday marks a milestone for our family. Our youngest son, Jeremy, graduates from UAA. From the moment our first child, Jenny, was born, then Ryan, Lauren, and Jeremy our focus and vision has been centered around our children. 29 years worth. For me this graduation marks the end of an era and the beginning of another. The problem is that I have not spent near as much time thinking about our future without children than I did when their future was more in our hands. Now it is out of our hands, except for college loans we still owe!
I wonder how much of our thinking about the future affects our relationship with God. Can we spend too much time in the future that we miss the present God-moments? How helpful is it that we think about the kind of person God desires us to be in 5 or 10 years? It's just so different because I have always been a visionary, future oriented person. Now I don't have responsibility for my childrens' future. What kind of future do I envision now?
Some of this is linked to identity. I'll always be a father but now a father in a different way. More equal. More adult to adult. I like it but in the past being a dad has often been about the future. Then there is my identity as a superintendent, or more accurately, as a former pastor of a local church. This has been an interesting adjustment as I think it is for most superintendents. People often ask how I like the new job. In the few seconds that I hesitate to find the words they have their answer.
How much time do you spend thinking about your future? What is "future" for you: 20 years, 5 years, next month, or making it through today? Somewhere there is a balance point between our present and our future, sliding this way and that, but never fully one way or the other. I believe we are called to think about the future but it is never just about us. It is God's preferred future and how we as disciples of the risen Christ fit into that future.
May God be in your present and future moments.
Christ is Risen!