Anxiety about the future is really a universal emotion. At some times in our lives everyone will wonder and worry about the future. Our lives are lived within three dimensions of time. Each of us has a past that we remember, a present that we experience and a future that we anticipate. And we can no more eliminate anticipation of the future than we can blot out memories of the past. They are both a part of our lives and must be included in the experience of today.
Most of us do fairly well in coping with the past. But what about the future? How are we to deal with this all-important dimension of life? What can we actually expect from the days and weeks that lie ahead? The bible offers some guidelines that should enable us to anticipate tomorrow with a firm faith and a realistic hope.
we can expect uncertainty, we can expect the unexpected. When Jesus spoke about the destruction of the temple, the disciples asked two questions: When will it occur? and What will be sign it is going to happen?. Jesus did not give a direct answer to either question. We find this it is with most questions about the future. A large part of the charm of life is locked up in its mystery.
The second thing that we can expect is change. The disciples could not believe it when Jesus predicted the destruction of the Temple and yet it came to pass in less than fifty years. They learnt from that: nothing stays the same. “In this life the only thing constant is change.” The days come, the days go. And little by little our old familiar world goes with them. As Christians we should not accept this but actively engage in bringing it about. The early Christians turned the world upside down. We cannot be the defenders of the Status Quo.
Jesus told the disciples to expect trouble, and pain. So we should prepare ourselves to deal with it.
One final thing to expect is God. He will be us all the way. “You will not be alone; I will be with you.”