It would be interesting to explore the question of what each of us imagined life to be ten, twenty, or even forty years ago. Did we think life would be like it is? Could we have imagined the experiences which led up and into the present? If we had known the present what would we have done in the past?
If I am candid with myself I cannot remember what I imagined yesterday. My mind seems to draw a blank – nothing in the present is familiar or anticipated. Everything seems new – with most things in a really good way. I am proud to be part of my immediate and extended family. I treasure the friends who form the community I live in. I value the opportunities I have. I know there are hassles which have no answers. I struggle with the hells of my own creation. I know fear far too well. Yet the present is full of surprises. I never imagined and for reasons I don’t understand the future is a blank canvas I am hopeful God will paint.
I find myself reading stories of old, wondering if I am as aware as I could be. God talked to people then and he does now. In one story, “in the year the field commander, sent by King Sargon of Assyria, came to Ashdod and fought and took it, God told Isaiah son of Amoz, ‘Go, take off your clothes and sandals,’ and Isaiah did it, going about naked and barefooted.” (Isaiah 20.1, 2) Most missed the first and the second messages, even though they seem obvious to some now.
I find myself taking a fresh look at the future. Perhaps my imagination should focus on what God might and can do. Destinations, in my life and in the lives of those I hold close to my heart, are just that – destinations. What matters are the steps I take between now and what is to come. This changes everything; my fear is not of the outcome, I just need to hold to God in the present.
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