My Dear Future,
I do not know what you hold. You are the great unknown. You strike fear into my heart. I lose sleep. I bite my fingernails to nothing.
People ask me questions about you. I hate it when they do because then I must admit that I simply do not know you, my own dearest, daunting Future.
You are the next three days.
You are the next three months.
You are the next three years.
You are the next three decades.
Oh, my dear Future. I see so many painful inevitabilities. I see in you unexpected death, broken relationships, rejections, heartache, tears, confusion, new failings, and goodbyes that will break me.
And what is still more frightening is the knowledge that you, my dear Future, quickly become my Present. In what seems like a single pulse of my heart, tomorrow will become today, and next year will become this year.
I will make goals that I will not meet. I will let relationships dissolve. I will watch people I once knew grow and change from a distance. I will make promises only to break them. I will start days with joy and singing and end them with silence.
But I try to put on a smile when it comes to you, my dear Future. I make my plans, answer the questions that just won’t stop, and pretend I know what this whole thing is about.
I don’t know how to talk about you, my fear-drenched Future. I don’t know how to ask for help, am terrified to show weakness, for it seems that once people realize just how much I don’t know, there will be blood in the water. I fear rumors and raised-eyebrows and being seen for what I really am.
But now I see how I’ve gotten this all so wrong. I see that I’ve been following the wrong stars in my thinking. It is, as it turns out, ridiculously simple (but then I am often ridiculously slow).
Here it is: you, my dear Future, are not about me.
My Savior King is the centerpiece, the end of you, the sum of you, my dear Future.
And the fear I have for you, my dear Future, is treason. The fear I have for you—the kind that changes the way I think and make decisions all on an axis of self—should not belong to you. My Savior King is the only One with a rightful claim to my fear, my attention, my decision-making—all on an axis of Jesus.
In so many ways, you are unknown, my dear Future. Unknown to me. But not to my Savior King. And when I am afraid, I can trust in him, can remember who he is. Because my Savior King is the Most High God, the Lord of hosts, King Jesus.
One day, someday in you, my dear Future, he will return in his glory, and on that day, he will be known as God and King in all the earth.
That day seems so far off, but it is the most real thing I know of you, my dear Future. And it is that one known, promised day that must define every breath drawn into my lungs.
The goals for my near future—the days leading up to my Savior King’s return—are all at once fuzzy and in sharp focus: love God; love people; worship; make disciples; magnify my Maker.
These are my next three days.
These are my next three months.
These are my next three decades.
These are the rest of my life.
And, no, my dear Future, I don’t know what that will always look like—where or with whom. And, yes, I know I will make many mistakes. But I am by no means significant enough or powerful enough to derail the plans of my Savior King.
And when the goodbyes break me, he will lift my head. And when I fail in new ways and all the old ways too, he will pick me up and remind me that his grace covers me. And when relationships fall apart, he will tell me that love covers all offenses.
And, yes, dear Future, I am still afraid of you, but my Savior King does not condemn me for even this treason.
Instead, every day, bit by bit, he calls me to grow more and more confident in him. Every day he gives me what I need to walk on water until one day I will look at you, my dear Future, with no fear or dread. I will be treasonous no more for I will remember always that the greatness of my Savior King knows no equal.
My dear Future, my hopes and dreams live in you.
So I will build my life—this short existence on this pale blue dot—upon the Cornerstone. And he—not I—will bring to pass things more splendid than I can imagine, treasures of silver and gold that will echo into the eternity I spend with him.
My dear Future, I do not know most of what you hold, but that is okay.