When in fear, the usual advice is to watch the horizon. If you are getting seasick, look to the distant edge where the water reaches the sky. When you are climbing or standing on the edge do not look down. As you climb the wall focus on what is before and ahead of you, again, do not look down! Do you want to climb the sailboat mast? Keep you eyes ahead.
As a metaphor, this plays out in life. Facing a difficult decision? Just imagine what if will be like after you are past this point. Are you grabbling with the uncertainty of living life? Well meaning Christians ask you and I to look to the heavens, what will come at some future date. The counsel seems to be as follows; “whatever you do, do not live or focus on the present.”
God suggests something radically different. “Watch your step, and the road will stretch out smooth before you.” (Proverbs 4.26) Live in the grace of the present moment, and everything past and future will work out for the best. If you want to experience life to the full, then focus on living out the next minute. Everything else is a mixture of worry or speculation, fear or self-confidence.
I enjoy taking the opposite track. If the world says to be look to the future then I naturally want to explore living in the present. If a book suggests that best way to make a difficult decision is to look behind and forward to gain the courage to move then I want to focus directly on the decision and understand what is at stake. I wonder if any of this is rationale.
What is the answer? How can we make sense out of the confusion we call life?
God never said that our lives would be free of pain, fear, or anguish. Jesus (on the cross) cried in fear that the separation he saw would be forever. The answer to all is in Hope, God's gift to you and I. Hold on, Hope is our lifeline.