I thought this was so funny! And so true, isn’t it?
In all seriousness, though, I have lived my entire life in the future. This fact has just recently dawned on me, and I have gotten a sense of clarity so bright that it is almost a little scary. Do you ever feel as though life is just speeding by? Like you look at the calendar and think, “Wow, it’s October 26th already! Where did October go?” And then, before you know it, it’s the New Year, and you have a mountain of credit card debt and extra inches on your waist because you waited till the last minute to buy gifts for your family and used Starbucks Cinnamon Dolce Latte and Pumpkin Loaf as your “go to” meal.
Now, don’t get me wrong. Showering your family with gifts and frequenting the local Starbucks is all well and good, but did you actually enjoy it? I hear more often than not people saying they hate the holidays. HATE THE HOLIDAYS? How is this even possible? It’s a holiday – by the very meaning, we should be absolutely thrilled! My assumption is that we try to pack too much in and just wait for it to be all over.
But isn’t this how we approach so much of our lives? Think back to when you were a child: “All I want to be is an adult so I can make my own decisions.”
When you were 18: “All I want to be is in college so I can live on my own.”
When you were in college: “All I want to do is graduate and make real money.”
When you finally graduated: “All I want is that big house.”
When you got the big house: “All I want is a baby.”
…and so it goes.
What is underlying all those wants? We assume that when we finally get the things we want that we will be happy. We finally feel like we have “made it.”
So how do you know if you are living in the future? The easiest way to give yourself a gut check that I have found is to think of the conversations you are having on a regular basis. What are you going to your friends with? Do you talk about the great weekend you had and highlight the food you ate, the sights you saw? Do you talk about a great conversation you had with a co-worker? Do you discuss current issues?
Most of the conversations I have had with friends and family have been focused on what I was doing to prepare to get to that next place. I have missed out on most of the experiences that were happening at that moment. In fact, I have been living in the future for so long that I have been experiencing life from ahead – life happens and I experience it by remembering what it was like. It’s a “hindsight is 20/20” kind of experience, but the problem was that what I was remembering was shrouded in my prejudice. Hindsight is not 20/20 because what we remember is distorted by the emotions that linger. It would be like trying to taste food in what was left behind in your mouth after you swallow rather than tasting the food as you chew. And what came with that was an incredible amount of anxiety. Once I got to where I thought I was supposed to be, I was thinking about where I was supposed to be next.
Let me just make a quick note here. I am not saying that you should just throw caution to the wind. Though that is one way to live, you can still prepare and take steps toward where you would like to be in a week, a year, two years, etc., but just make sure that you have balance. Realize that if things don’t work out the way you had planned that there is a reason for it. We have such a small understanding of what God has planned for us that living in the present and just breathing can bring a richness to our life that we would never experience otherwise. There was a gentleman in my teacher training yesterday that said, “I am seeing trees for the first time! I mean, I have seen trees, but never really SEEN the trees until now.” How incredible is that!
So, the thing that I am focusing on the most at the present is to experience life as it happens. Any “move” I make for the future I ask myself if this is part of the balance that I need to find or am I getting ahead of myself again.
And that is where I leave you with a challenge. In my last post I asked if you were confident in the direction you were aiming? This almost forces you to think about the future. I want you to now focus and meditate on holding the bow and arrow. Instead of seeing the target, experience the feel of the arrow in your hand, the tension of the string, the weight of the bow, and just stay with it for a little while.
My prayer for you today, and every day, is that you Be You. Fearlessly.