Timeline

The future.

What is it?  Why is it important?  Just how important is it?  What if plans for our future fall apart? How do your plans for the future affect what you do today? What are you willing to totally give up today for future plans?  What is the single most important thing to your future plans?  What about tomorrow?

Billy Graham said we shouldn’t worry about tomorrow; after all “today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday.”

Jesus said “Take no thought for tomorrow (the future). Tomorrow has enough worries of it’s own.”  (Matthew 6:34)

The Past.

So, what about yesterday, the past? How much of our lives continue to be embedded in the past? Is it a good thing or not?

Some believe our lives are a sum total of everything that has happened to us, our experiences, memories, those are what make us what we are now. It makes us… us. It is what we have become, what shaped our character.

But some of us (many of us?) would rather not think our past has made us what we are, but it’s a little hard to deny. Some past experiences are so meaningful or traumatic we cannot defy the changes it has wrought in us. Soul-changing events require soul-changing help on a spiritual level.

Some would not change their past. The journey that has led them to the present time is seen as right and fruitful. But sooner or later, everyone may ask themselves if the journey was worth it.  Not asking if you would change the past – the past is unchangeable – but wondering if the past is where you find encouragement and support to deal with your present.

Some would say yes; others not so much.

Why? It’s called “life.” That human condition that is inevitable, unrelenting, unstopping, roller coaster, spinning carousel of existence on earth.

It is what it is. And sometimes the best thing about the past is – it’s over. Done. Past.

So here we are in the Present.

It takes a lot of faith to live in the present. We believe when we flip the switch the light will come on. When we turn the tap, water will run. When the traffic light turns green, we fully expect the cross traffic to stop. But is this really faith? Or is it taking for granted repeated experiences that usually have the same outcome?

You see, when we take things for granted, we easily get flustered and bent out of shape when those things don’t work correctly or happen the way we expect. Especially when we’re already worried or hurried or stressed, we just don’t need this extra inconvenience and why does it have to happen now?

Now.  That is a word that means the Present.  Now.  Immediately, right away, pronto, tout de suite.  Yet, these are all expressions of Time. I heard a line in a movie that said “time is a river that carries us through life.” Then we look up and find ourselves a lot farther down-stream than we realized or wanted to be.

Time never stops. We live, we die, time passes. We think we control time by setting deadlines, postponing events, making schedules. That’s called time management.

But what if Time stopped?

In the Biblical record of the burning bush, Moses saw a bush that was burning with flames, but it was not consumed. Time was “suspended” around that bush (maybe for everything, even Moses). It helped prepare Moses for the conversation he was about to have with the Creator of the Universe, Who is also the Creator of Time.

Up to that “point in time” (pun intended) if someone had said it was possible for a bush to be on fire yet never burn up Moses would have been skeptical.

If someone had told Moses that day that God was going to talk to him in person Moses probably would have laughed. He didn’t think of himself as leadership material, and had several excuses not to be.

But seeing is believing. Could God have spoken to Moses without the bush? Certainly. But that, along with the other miracles and manifestations of power God put into the hands of Moses, was preempted by a visual event that would be impossible to occur naturally which led to a spiritual event that opened the heart and mind of Moses to receive what God was going to tell him.

And at the end of God’s commission to Moses to lead the nation of Israel out of Egypt, there was not one speck of doubt left when Moses asked “Who shall I say sent me?” and  God said:

“I am That I Am. Thus shalt that say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath set me unto you.” (Exodus 3:14)

The Creator and Sustainer of all things created. The Creator and Master of Time who sees the beginning and the end of Time. The One who knows our past, cares about our present, and faithfully leads us into the future when we allow Him to manage our time.

12See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. 13But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. 14We have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original conviction firmly to the very end. (Hebrews 3)