Living in the Future

Lately, I have been spending a lot of time in the future. No, I don’t have access to wormhole that allows me to bust through the space-time continuum…although that would be AWESOME! But I have been writing about the future. So my mind is there. I sit around and daydream what it might be like. I talk to other people about it. It’s actually quite fun.

But I was thinking last night, as I left the future to return to 2013, that not all “future living” is good.

For example, I teach high schoolers. I love my students. But I always have a few who spend their entire senior (and sometimes junior) years completely focused on “getting out.” Some just hate high school and expend all their energy letting everyone around them know how much they hate it and how great life will be once they’re in college. Others, though, are just focused on getting into college – getting good scores on their SATs, passing their AP exams, getting accepted into the “right” school, finding scholarships. All good things. But even good things, when they consumeĀ our mind, can be bad. Either scenario keeps students locked in the future instead of enjoying the present.

This year’s senior class, though, is enjoying their final year of high school. I am watching them soak in the experiences, the fun, the friendships. I have watched them step up in leadership. Ours is a Christian school, and the senior class knows it sets the tone spiritually for the rest of the school. And they do. They reach out to the younger students, they encourage them. They lead by example. I am so proud of these kids. Sure, they are ready for high school to be over. Sure, they are stressed about college. But most of them choose not to live in either of those futures. They choose to focus on today.

Please don’t hear me saying “YOLO” (You Only Live Once), encouraging you to engage in random acts of stupidity because life is short. What I am saying is that we need to take each day as a gift from God. We need to remember we aren’t promised tomorrow. We need to keep in mind that God has plans for us TODAY. He has people for us to love TODAY, things He wants us to do TODAY. And if we only think about what we might do tomorrow, we’ll miss out on all the amazing gifts God has for us right now: we’ll miss out on opportunities to share, to encourage, to serve, to know Christ better and to be made more like Him.

So plan for the future. Read books about the future (insert shameless plug for Anomaly). But don’t get stuck there. Be present in the present. Make a difference today.

 

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