Square One Part IV: Your anxiety of the future ends here.
It is entirely too easy to stress out about our futures. Can I get an amen? If you're anything like me, dreaming, constructing and planning my future is what I do on my down time. I generally have a couple handfuls of different futures planned out for myself at any given time. It all depends on which opportunities arise or don't arise, what the economic climate looks like, who I marry, what my job will be, how my interests change... the variables (and the resulting futures) are endless. For a lot of people this can be anxiety inducing as it reinforces just how out of control we are.
Here's where faith comes in. For each of us, God has a perfect will. A path that, if followed, would amount to a life of purpose, fulfillment, service and worship ending ultimately in His glorification and our enjoyment of Him. Obviously, we have a hard time following His will as we live in an imperfect world, in imperfect bodies, guided by imperfect minds and hearts.
To align our will with His is a constant battle against our nature. But if/when we succeed, the result is nothing short of beautiful.
There is no lack of stories of people who resigned themselves to seeking God first and saw the rest of the pieces of life fall into place as God moved. This struggle is perhaps more difficult for someone like me. Someone who isn't willing to relinquish control over their future. You see, I like constructing elaborate futures for myself. I like dreaming of the infinite possibilities. But right about the point that I begin flow-charting and diagramming my five year plan is when my head gets in the way of my heart. I'm a pretty confident guy - it's just my personality - so it's so easy for me to start believing that I know what is best for my life and that I can figure out how to make it happen. That thought process will be my downfall, I assure you.
If, on the other hand, I sought first the Kingdom of God, He would guide my path. And why shouldn't He? After all, He created me. I'm flabbergasted by how often I forget that. The unique combination of personality, character, genetic makeup, opinions, tendencies, strengths, weaknesses and aptitudes that make up Jacob were built by a creator who loves me and wants what is best for me. Yet I'm unwilling to surrender the reigns. It makes me laugh! How foolish can I be?
As I war against this urge to steer my own ship, I would commission you to do the same. Take inventory of your priorities and be brutally honest about what your eyes are set on. As you do, be intentional about refocusing on the Lord. For in His goodness, His love, His power and His divine will for our lives is a future that is peppered with miracles, opportunities and joys that makes it feel like Christmas every morning. No need to choose from your list of twenty possible futures. No need to live some life your parents forced upon you. No need to succumb to cultural norms and expectations. Just a life devoted to seeking Christ first and letting Him fill in the blanks. Simple.