I was looking back through my personal journal from the past several years, just marveling about how God has prepared me for what came later. I wouldn’t have recognized it at the time, but in retrospect the clarity shocks me– every minute of our lives builds on the minute before, in preparation for the path ahead. When we finally get to that path, those new minutes prepare us for another path.
What has happened in your life in the past year, the past five years, or the past 10 years? If you could go back in time to that person (the “past” you) and tell him/her what the future will hold, would you? I’m a big fan of the show LOST, and all the time travel makes my imagination whirl around in circles. Is it a flash-back, a flash-forward, or a flash-sideways? On a theological note, I wonder how many “flash-sideways” God has to work through because of our free will. But I digress…
So now that we’ve looked back, let’s look forward. What will happen to you in the next year, the next five years, or the next 10 years? That’s a scary thought. It’s easier in some ways to revisit the past, than to imagine an unknown future. At least with the past we can pick it apart — we can look for God’s hand in the tiniest of details and see what we ourselves did right or wrong. But the future is one big question mark.
Just several weeks ago a young mother I am very distantly connected to came down with the flu, and spent two weeks in the hospital fighting for her life, eventually having to have her legs amputated, only to die of a brain infection two days later. Just like that in several weeks time her life ended, and her family changed forever. It seemed so sudden, but as we all know, change often happens even more quickly.
I take great comfort in knowing that God Himself walks more than a few steps ahead of me into time. He knows what the future will bring — the good and the bad. Our laughter, our tears. New friendships and broken ones. New life, and saying goodbye to lives we’ve known.
“The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”–Deuteronomy 31:8