Following the fleeting future purloins the promises of the present.
This is my final post in my Chase series. If you missed my first Chase post find it here.
The thing about tomorrow is it never comes. It is always an abstract entity in the future, beckoning me to worship it with my time, energy, and focus. As I ride around the sun, I fix my eyes on the trajectory, rather than basking in the Sun itself.
This chase transcends earthly seasons and manifests itself in the seasons of my life as well. We are given so many seasons, each uniquely powerful. We have seasons of study and of toil, of celebration and rejoicing, of peace and solitude, of busyness and clamor, of mourning and reflection.
We are called to dance with God in perfect harmony, but it’s to His rhythm that we dance. God does not step to our melodies, so chasing tomorrow leads us out of step with our Heavenly partner.
1. Lose control
I like to be in control. Honestly my natural inclination is to do more work and maintain control of a project than include a partner that could throw a wild card into my plan.
I don’t admit this because I am proud of it or glad for it at all. I bring this up because I recognize my deceitful flesh and honestly I need God to take care of my “what-ifs” on a daily basis.
My flesh is always in one of two conditions: in (perceived) control of my situation or worrying about my situation. Anyone else?
But Jesus is so much bigger than my worry. His promises are so much more powerful than my control.
““Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?
Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
- Matthew 6:25, 27, 35
Letting Jesus hold my future goes two ways: I shouldn’t worry about what could happen and I shouldn’t expect what should happen.
I have an all-knowing Wonderful Counselor who has seen my whole life and is in complete control of any situation. If I truly believe this, I would be a fool to approach tomorrow alone!
He holds my future and there is nothing that could happen tomorrow that would snatch me from His hand. What else is left to fear?
2. Embrace each season
Many people have a favorite season of the year. For many of us in Wisconsin it’s summer, when everything is lush and green, the days seem to last forever, and the hot sun siphons the chill from our bones.
But folks in the tropics can’t share in our appreciation for 70 degree weather because the thermometer never drops below freezing there. The days always last more than 8 hours, and the entire place never falls under a deep white freeze.
God designed seasons to align us to His rhythm. In the same way as yearly seasons, seasons of life force us to adapt as well. There would be no appreciation without contrast.
Let’s be honest about the season we’re in. If there is a spiritual drought and even reading one chapter of Scripture is a struggle, bring that to God! If your season is sunny, sing about it! Shout praises! Let your smile shine before the world.
Remember that no season lasts forever, no matter how vigorously we cling to it (summer forever!!!) or impatient we grow in it (cabin fever).
If we chase the season of tomorrow, we will miss the blessings of the season of today. Because seasons cannot be categorized into “good” and “bad;” they are so much more complex than that.
As winter brings reflective beauty and stillness, and spring brings new beginnings, so our life seasons bring blessings if we embrace them properly.
Surround yourself with people in all different seasons: life stages (mentorship!), spiritual saturations, and seasons triggered by big events. We need each others’ support to survive the winter and thrive in the summer.
3. Wait on the Lord
We are beings of the instant, the convenient, the fast. We are surrounded by things that require very little patience: microwaves, iPhones, sports cars, and Amazon Prime. Sometimes we expect the Divine to fit into our bubble of instancy.
But our God does not fit His cadence within our schedule. He is above time, yet completely intentional with His timing.
And most of the time His timing is too slow for me.
Faith in God is faith in His timing.
By chasing tomorrow, we are telling God we do not trust His timing.
Sometimes I wonder, wouldn’t it be easier for God to just give us what we need the instant we ask for it? The Scripture teaches us to be persistent in prayer, and promises that we are heard.
So why the wait?
God uses time to teach us and shape us and make us more like Him. He shows Himself to be patient, longsuffering, methodical, and intentional. He makes no doubt that He is present when things start to fall into place beautifully at the least expected time.
Like wine, God’s gifts grow sweeter the longer we wait on them. If we force our timing into His melody, we are disrupting His orchestration and settling for less than He is offering.
For all of my life I have looked forward to my next season. I recall begging to carry my sister’s backpack when I was in preschool just so I could look like a kindergartner. When I was in elementary school I would spend as much time as possible upstairs in the TAG office in the middle school. I skipped my senior year to go to college. I graduated college a year early and started my job two days later. I got married 3 months after my engagement. And here I am now.
But honestly I am content in my season for the first time in my life. I don’t exactly know the reason, perhaps this is the season I am best suited for (it certainly feels that way), perhaps it’s the roots I am finally comfortable putting down, or perhaps it’s because I am closer with God than I have ever been.
But what’s really ironic is, as happy as I am right now, I don’t fear losing this season. I am neither grasping at the present or chasing the future. I finally just…am. I am so ready to follow God into whatever season He will lead. And if it’s 5 more minutes or 50 more years of this, I will say with fervor,
It is well with my soul