Posted tagged ‘future’

Praying From the Past To the Future

May 1, 2018

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                         May 1, 2018

                        

“Keep us safe from ourselves and the Devil. You’re in charge!” (Matthew 6:13, The Message)

“Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the Evil One!” (Matthew 6:13, NIV)

When I pray I have a habit of praying about the “not yet” right away!

“Lord, give me strength to get through a day of teaching sixth grade language arts!”

“Lord, help me to deal with that person when I have to see him next week!”

My prayer life has been dominated by situations and events that are in my future path. I noticed, however, when Jesus taught his followers how to pray and gave them a modeling prayer to help them understand he talked about the past and the present before he got to the future.

He suggests that we pray about our present needs and our past failures. The present is about the simple and uncomplicated…”bread!”…the essential for now!

The past is about the moments that haunt us, the ill spoken words, and the inaction in those situations where a response was needed. As a Baptist I don’t enter a confessional booth and reveal my transgressions to a priest, and yet that may be a missing element of my faith journey. It becomes too easy to race blindly into the future! When we don’t deal with our past it clouds the clarity of the future.

There are wounds in our memories that haven’t received the treatment of grace and forgiveness. The peripheral vision of our faith walk is lacking because of the blurring of our past. I think Jesus is leading us to get a grip on our past in preparation for our future. Many of us “avoid” the past as if it never happened. My understanding of how God will lead me from here, however, is influenced by the trail of my steps behind me.

This is true for churches, also! If a congregation hasn’t dealt with its past- how it mistreated a staff member, how judgmental it was towards a family dealing with a relational failure, or demeaning it he’d been towards women- it will most assuredly mis-step into its future.

And so Jesus advises us to deal with our history as we pave the path in front of us.

Seeing Your Child’s Future

December 2, 2013

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                         December 2, 2013

 

“Words from WW” will be doing a series of blog posts during Advent. Please feel free to share then with others.

 

                                    

 

How would it effect us as parents if we were able to see what our child’s life will be focused on in the future…but we will see it now? How might the hopes of our hearts for our children blossom if someone told us the future impact of the little one that is crawling around on the floor around our feet?

Advent is about hope and promise. When the angel Gabriel appeared to Zechariah in the temple of the Lord as Zechariah was burning incense and going through the duties of the priest, he shared the future of Zechariah’s son, who had not yet even been conceived.

“Many of the people of Israel will he bring back to the Lord their God. And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous- to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” (Luke 1:16-17)

     It was an angelic proclamation of what was to be. It left Zechariah dumbfounded. He had resolved himself to being a father to no one. His wife was far past the age of childbearing. His future was simply a picture of the two of them growing old together, never enjoying the sounds of infant laughter and conversations of discovery with a child who asked endless questions of “why?”

And then he’s confronted with the news not only of a pregnancy that will start soon, but also of what his offspring will do with his life, the coming again of another Elijah.

Most parents worry about their children. First there is getting them through adolescence and orthodontics; then comes paying for college, followed by the anxiety of finding a job after college. Parents worry that their children will never reach their potential, that the dynamics of out times weigh against twentysomethings.

So, what would it mean for a parent to know that his child will have a life of impact and purpose?

But, in essence, God does have that in his plan! He desires that each one of us live a life of fulfilled promises. Sometimes we just have a hard time believing it.

59 and 1/2!

November 5, 2013

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                       November 5, 2013

 

                                           “59…and 1/2”

 

Today I’m fifty-nine and a half years old!

No birthday cake is necessary…or half a cake… or a half-baked cake, for that matter!

I can officially take money out of my IRA today and not be taxed on it. I’m serious! Yesterday I would have had to pay a 10% penalty tax. Today I’m richer even though I have not intention of taking the money out of the IRA. After all, I’m getting…like 1/2 a percent interest! It makes me giddy just thinking about it. I can almost hear the pennies dripping into the fund like a slow leaking faucet.

I didn’t know it, but there is actually a web site called “Fiftynineandahalf.com”. Who would have “thunk it?”  I can get t-shirts and other items there to prove my “fifty-nine and a halfishness!”

On the negative side, my wife Carol is gone tonight, at a camp with a bunch of sixth graders. There goes the party for me I guess! I’m going to have to celebrate my milestone by myself.

I’ll probably go to bed early!

Have you ever come to one of those points that you can choose to go one direction or another? 59 and 1/2 is kind of like that. I can hobble off to feebleness or seek to make the last third of my life the best yet.

Since I’ve been blessed with pretty good health, I’m looking forward to this last third as the best. Sometimes people get to a point like this and question whether their life still has any purpose. Thankfully I’ve never doubted that my life has purpose. I’ve just questioned the setting for where the purpose is pursued. I pastor, I coach, I write, I laugh, I mentor, I listen. All of those are part of my purpose being realized.

So I’m going to forego the t-shirt proclaiming my milestone event, and just walk forward into God’s future.

I’m not sure what that means, but it sounds like something a fifty-nine and a half year old would say.