Equally dangerous, however, is the false god of the future — the forward-staring face of Janus. This false god can take a number of forms, but the most prevalent is that of godless anxiety. . . . we become hindered with constant fear, worry, and uncertainty. A thousand doubts and what-ifs arise as we pay homage to the future.”- Rev. Jeffrey Leininger
Rev. Jeffrey Leininger concludes Chapter 2 of Callings for Life as he notes what happens when we obsess about the future. The more we obsess, the author states, the more:
- possible negative outcomes we fear
- uncertain we become
- likely we cannot proceed in faith and love
However, Rev. Leininger counsels, something worse than anxiety-inducing worship of the future exists. Neglecting one’s present callings at the expense of a future, mythic, one great thing we imagine for ourselves. Furthermore, our gods of the future rarely meet our expectations for personal fulfillment and meaning. Like any false god, the false god of the future consumes, betrays, and ultimately destroys us.
Hence, Rev. Leininger takes a look at four of the countless blessings God bestows upon those living present-tense lives.
1. Awareness. Through His grace, Christ already works within us. And often the word of Christ awakens us to God’s present activity in our lives. Thus, we find our value simply in God’s grace for us and then through us (emphasis author’s).
2. Joy. Rev. Leininger exhorts us to find joy in the smallest daily service. God fully engages in even the smallest things that unfold today. Consequently, you don’t need to have your whole life figured out or plot the perfect future path. Just engage with what God places before you.
3. Great contentment. Don’t make the mistake of viewing your calling as a future work or accomplishment. Instead, get busy serving life’s faces, places, and spaces. At this very moment God’s given you most of what you’re called to do in this life.
4. Valuing others. Solely because of the work of Christ, others (and you) possess full value right now. As a result, their present matters and their presence matters.
Today’s question: When do you pay homage to the false god of the future? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Slay Goliaths with but five smooth stones”