My weekly medicine organizer has seven slots for the morning and seven for the evening. I’m amazed how quickly the box gets emptied. Many would agree that the older you get the faster time flies. We are all being thrust into the future at sixty seconds per minute and sixty minutes per hour.
Do you recall the in Star Wars movies when a starship jumped to light speed? Harrison Ford would pull a lever in the Millennium Falcon, the stars would become streaks, and instantly they arrived at their destination!
At times, it seems the future is rushing at me at blinding speed. I vividly remember my High School graduation, the births of our two children and four grandchildren, and the beginning of each major chapter in my life. Whish! Decades fly by in my memory!
Reactions to facing the future are often characterized by apathy or anxiety. People respond with “Who cares!” or “Oh my!” Neither produces joy, so is there a joyful alternative?
The apostle Paul depicts life like a race, “I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:14) Joy comes when you make knowing Christ the goal of your race through life into the future.
First, Paul showed us a healthy dissatisfaction. “Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own.” (Phil. 3:12) Joy comes when you know your goal is worth the investment of every ounce of energy you have to reach for it. He knew perfection would never be reached on earth, but in heaven perfection is certain.
Second, Paul demonstrated a healthy view of the past. “But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and staining forward to what lies ahead.” Joy requires you to let go of the past. You can’t change the past, so instead of worrying about it, forget it.
We hang on to the past when we retain regret. Sure, I wish I had done some things differently, but there’s no joy in dwelling on them. Let it go. We hang on to the past when we remain resentful. Resentment does not hurt the person I resent, I am only hurting myself. Let it go.
Is your view of the future producing apathy, anxiety, or joy? Make Jesus Christ your finish line and lean hard toward the tape.
Want to know more? This Sunday at 9am, I will continue the series, “HOW TO IN-JOY LIFE: Simple, but Difficult Steps.” Find us at BalboaBaptist.Church. Our mission is to bring all people to the saving grace of Jesus Christ and help them grow toward Christian maturity through love, prayer, worship, teaching, and service.