“The future will be better tomorrow” is a quote attributed to Dan Quayle, the much ridiculed vice president under George H.W. Bush. No one knows the future, but that does not stop everyone from trying to predict it. We’re not even a year into the current president’s term and pundits are already predicting who will run in 2020. This time of year sports shows are chock full of predictions for football (college and NFL) seasons.
In a recent blog post, Tony Reinke wrote, “Speculating on our future is the petri dish of anxiety and fear, and it’s probably one reason why God has not called us to walk by prediction. He has called us to walk by faith.”
Reinke goes on to say that we speculate on the future (near and far) to justify our present actions. That is quite a statement; and I have to confess that it is easy for me to live that statement. The past four years have been tough and it is easy to fall into the trap of reading the tea leaves as I try and navigate into the future. Right now I am unemployed and my future in seminary is in jeopardy. I also have a tendency to interpret the past based on the present—much easier than predicting the future. But, I struggle with this: If God brought us here for me to go to seminary, then what’s up with my current situation?
All of this boils down to the answer to the question, What is God’s will for my life? Reinke helps us out there too, stating “God’s will is found in daily obedience and walking by faith and trusting in him, not by forecasting the most favorable outcomes.”
Obedience…daily obedience…walking by faith…trust God—certainly not as glamorous as predicting the future.
You know who didn’t know the future? Jesus. Jesus didn’t (doesn’t?) know the day and time of his return. What did he do? Did he spend his days in introspection? Did he spend his days trying to predict when that would happen? Did he speculate on what might happen before his second-coming that would in turn help predict when he’d return? No to all these. What did he do? He was obedient; daily he was obedient. What are we to do? Be obedient; daily in everything; for Jesus said, “Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be provided for you. Therefore don’t worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6:33–34)
Therefore, since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every hindrance and the sin that so easily ensnares us. Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us, keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith. For the joy that lay before him, he endured the cross, despising the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. —Hebrews 12:1–2