The Future…

“. . . future is in your hands.”
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“You, Lord, are all I have, and you give me all I need; my future is in your hands.” (Psalm 16:5)
AWHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!
The truth was unmistakable.  It was staring me in the face.  As I walked up the sidewalk to my office the little dogwood tree that had greeted me with such beautiful spring blossoms was sporting its first red leaves, almost as though it was shouting in my face, “Look, Fall is almost here!”  Immediately my mind went into contortions, flash-flooded by all sorts of anxious thoughts.  “OH NO, it’s almost Fall!  That means all sorts of programs need to be planned, and then it’s almost Thanksgiving, and then – OH NO! – it’s almost Advent and – OH NO! – it’s time for Christmas planning, and – OH NO! – Lent is just around the corner and – OH NO! – Easter planning needs to happen and – OH NO! . . .  A simple red leaf flashes me on my way to my office and in the blink of an eye I’m overwhelmed by the future. 

Change can have that effect on us.  Transitions can send us into a tailspin, overwhelmed by all sorts of anxiety about the future – all it demands and/or all it promises.  Maybe that’s an interesting way to think about our options for facing the future.  Do we tend to see the future as demanding or promising?  In reality it’s a little of both, but stop and ask yourself which predominates your take on the future.  Do you see the future as full of demands or full of promise? 

Obviously, in my moment of psychic flooding when I saw the red dogwood leaves I briefly experienced the future as full of demands.  That didn’t feel very good, so I stopped my thought process that was barreling down the track like a run-away train and said, “Wait a minute, there’s time for everything.  Slow down and enjoy what’s coming.  You can do this.”  That moment of self-coaching helped me move from a sense of awful dread to a place of peace, hope, and expectation.  I was able to recover the promise of the future so eloquently expressed by the Psalmist, “You, Lord, are all I have, and you give me all I need; my future is in your hands.”

When change and transition starts you careening down the tracks on your own run-away train of anxiety stop and ask your self, “How do I want to experience the future – as demanding or promising?”  Slow down, take a deep breath, and remember God’s promise – our future is in God’s hands.  That’s a promise that brings peace, hope, and joy.  I pray that God will help me focus on a future filled with God’s promise.  How about you?

Blessings and Peace,
Gary
Pastor, Cross Lanes United Methodist Church
Cross Lanes, West Virginia

 
Help save lives! For more information on my book, “A Relentless Hope: Surviving the Storm of Teen Depression,” visit http://www.survivingteendepression.com.


My new book, “Wednesday Wonderings: Spiritual Journaling Through a Lens” is available at http://www.wipfandstock.com and http://www.amazon.com.

 
Check out my video, “Teens Surviving the Storm”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o1hSpxC_G24
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~ by revgenelson on August 14, 2013.

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