Sunday, December 07, 2008

Why There is No Future in the Past

What do you do when things seem to be unraveling? When suddenly or overnight or out of nowhere or without explanation something in your circle of influence runs you over? A child, a marriage, a relationship, an opportunity, a job goes south?

Like it or not, this 'out of the blue' feeling is the reality that when the present isn't effectively managed, it has a way of becoming a past that builds and builds into 'the wave' that now seems ready to sweep away both your present and your future. It's like you're standing on the beach called 'the present' and you get washed away by an unexpected tsunmani called 'the past.'

Can you relate?

The hard to swallow truth is that there usually is no "suddenly." The past is, more often than not, something of our own creation. There are exceptions to that, for sure.

Regardless of who or how the past happened, it often ends up determining your future. "There and then" keeps you from living "here and now." It's not that the future is determined in the sense that we can't escape it no matter what, it's just that our past has become the most influential voice in our present. And so we futilely search for a future in the past.

As a result, we feel helpless against 'the wave.'

Enter the Gospel--the good news--of Jesus. It is the announcement that Jesus has taken the past and overwhelmed and overcome it, calming it's angry waters.

Paul, writer of much of the New Testament says it this way: "God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them." Jesus silences the voice of the past and invites us to live here and now in light of God's future; A future full of hope and possibility.

Can you see it?

1 comment:

Brian Miller said...

I think I'm learning to see it. And I think I agree with the gist of what you're saying.

The questions that come to my mind are, to what extent may we have faith without memory? And, what role does past properly play in the present and in our hope for the future?