1.02.2009

Past? Present? Future?

I often write about what, or more specifically, who we should always be living for. The answer to that question, reduced to its bare essence is Jesus Christ. He is the One who gave us life to live, He is the One who makes life worth living, and thus we should always make sure our lives are being fully surrendered to Him.

With Christmas having been here and gone at an unnatural speed, 2009 now being upon us, and moments still slipping through my fingers at every turn, another question has been wearing on my mind—which time of my life should I be living for?—the past, the present, the future, or a combination?

I think it’s probably a fairly simple fact that though we should learn from the past and grow from its experiences, we shouldn’t live in the past. If we lived in the past, we would find ourselves constantly convoluting our present lives and futures. Our past mistakes will eat away at our sanity if we constantly dwell on them, and our past victories will eventually fade away under the shadow of the life of unawareness we have created since. Yes…we have the past as a precedent for our commencing futures, but to live in the past is both impractical and destructive.

The line that separates the present from the future isn’t defined—the two almost meld together. In my opinion, they must always be taken as one or we risk giving ourselves the opportunity to place our own line between them. If we lose sight of future consequences or favorable results of our actions, then our current decisions will be unstudied and could wreak havoc. Conversely, if we spend so much time planning for the future that we are blinded to the present, then before we know it we’ll be in that future—but instead of the perfectly orchestrated and carefree paradise we expect to find, we’ll be presented with an utterly twisted and worthless mess that is the result of an unspent life.

Melding today and tomorrow in my mind is a constant struggle. I often get caught up in the present—I place too much importance on my current happiness and forget what the results, good or bad, of my actions may be. I disappear into dreams of the future—I give up the moments that I should be cherishing now and decide that what is to come is more important. Neither of these is right, and I have been praying that God will help me to create the balance between the two that is needed to create a healthy, satisfying, and righteous life.

If we blend this concept with the fact that we must always be sold out to Christ and have Him at the center of our focus at all times, we find something absolutely perfect—like pieces of a puzzle, they fit together flawlessly. Our Father has the ultimate outlook on life—when I learn to trade my bleeding sight with His crystal clear vision I will find the perspective I need to live a balanced life—learning from the past, cherishing the present, and being ever mindful of the future.

10 comments. :

Sharon said...

I was thinking about this sort of thing in passing the other day. I was wondering how I would explain this to someone - living in the present, enjoying it for the glory of God, yet not being mindless of the future, or being worried about it. I think your explanation is great!

I remembered Philipians 3:13-14 as I read:

"...but one thing I do, forgeting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call in Christ Jesus."

It just confirmed what you said about not living in the past.

It's fabulous that you're a Christian. Keep strong in the Lord!

In Christ
Sharon

P.S. You said you like making stuff in Photoshop. Have you ever used any other tools, like GIMP or Paint.net, or even an online tool?

Mindy said...

Abigail! This is beautiful! I have been giving this a lot of thought lately. I tend to live in the past most of the time, worrying about what I should have done differently, missing out on what I have NOW. I REALLY need to learn to live in the present. If I don't I will miss most of my boys growing up and THAT is something I am not willing to miss! I also need to develop a closer relationship to God and Jesus. I tend to not think about them throughout the day, then worry about that at night. Again, a waste of time!

This post has been VERY inspiring! Thank you so much for sharing =)

Laura said...

Your blog is proof positive that the young can teach and influence the older. Your insight is phenomenal and your thoughts so appreciated. May 2009 bring you much joy, peace, and many topics about which to blog! I anxiously await the next post.
In the love of Christ.

karin said...

Love the way you have posted your thoughts! At various stages in our lives we revisit this and with different understanding. One of my thoughts has been that you can't drive/move forward looking in the rear-view mirror, but it certainly is good to check it often - be aware of where you have been and what may be coming up behind you, that can quickly catch you unawares. God gives the insight and direction to move forward - just enough for each new day. Hopefully we will obey His leading. Thanks for sharing your inspiring thoughts.

Jill said...

Abigail,

Another beautifully written post!

I admire where you are in your tender age.

God has already done such an amazing work in your life and it is evident how He is molding you perfectly with each passing day!

Allow Him to be the potter, you the clay and don't ponder too much on yesterday or tomorrow. He is an ever-present God. He works in TODAY! Today is where He wants to know and be certain your heart is sold out for Him.

The past is a great reminder of just how far we have come and His faithfulness. The future is a place to put our hope and trust in Him. The enemy loves for us to be in both of them too much - it keeps us where God can't work.

What are the two greatest reasons for prescription medicine today - depression (past problems) and anxiety/fear (future problems)...coincidence that God put 365 fear nots in the Bible? I don't think so!

May this year bring peace to your precious heart, mind and soul.

I look forward to all that He blesses you with and we get to grow right along with you!

Love and hugs,
Mrs. Samter

Rachel...finding joy... said...

A very beautiful post. You have a wonderful writing style.

The older I get the more I realize the gift the Lord has given us in time. Our past should not bind us...we can learn, but we also can let go. Our future should be what we press forward for...in Christ. And our present, well it is a gift, one to be cherished.

Blessings to you.

Rachel

Julie said...

Beautifully written. I love the last sentence. I am definitely working on cherishing the present.

You have a beautiful blog and an amazing gift for writing. I hope you have a wonderfully blessed New Year.

Sarah Robbins said...

Sounds like we are kindred spirits right now. I love the way that God can take our struggles and help us find sisters in Christ to share the load. We can pray for each other this year in this challenge. What a precious treasure that God has gifted you with this insight at this stage in your life and walk with him.

Kelly @ The Beauty of Sufficient Grace said...

Miss Abigail...how the Lord has blessed you with many gifts! Wonderful post...you have a gift as a writer to share your heart, in a way that truly honors God. And your artwork is amazing...beautiful. I really liked this post, and I think it is something we all struggle with throughout our lives.

"If we blend this concept with the fact that we must always be sold out to Christ and have Him at the center of our focus at all times, we find something absolutely perfect—like pieces of a puzzle, they fit together flawlessly. Our Father has the ultimate outlook on life—when I learn to trade my bleeding sight with His crystal clear vision I will find the perspective I need to live a balanced life—learning from the past, cherishing the present, and being ever mindful of the future. I really liked this post, and I think it is something we all struggle with throughout our lives."

Your words are so true...being "sold out to Christ... and having Him at the center of our vision" is the key. Praying the Lord's continued blessing and guidance in the coming year, as you walk with Him.

In His Grace,
Kelly Gerken

karin said...

I love Mrs. Samter's comment about the 365 'fear not'! It's edifying to read all other comments as well as your post.

I've got an award for you at my blog!

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