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Some people are more inclined to reflection than projection! I tend to wonder more about the future and what it will be like!

When I was a boy, the future was way off in 1984! That date was so far away that George Orwell still had time to project his own dystopian fears into what has often been called a Orwellian future!  (And, by the way, Social Security was predicted to be bankrupt by then and our government in danger of spending us into financial collapse!)

As 1984 approached, the far-out year became 2001! Of course, you remember Stanley Kubrik’s movie 2001: A Space Odyssey , which, in a very realistic way, cinematically showed space travel, video phones, robotics, and created the infamous HAL—a computer that (or who?) developed its own morality in jeopardizing competition with the humans.

The New Millennium actually came in a year earlier with great fanfare—or fan-fear. Remember the 2K end-of-the-world predictions, when all the computers on earth were going to crash, when people stockpiled canned goods and bought rifles to defend their underground cellars if need be!.  All of this future came and went, Social Security was still solvent, and the government was still in place.

Here we are ten years later—2011. Occasionally some report will surface about how things will be in 2025—just fourteen years from now—and that seems like a really long time off—except 1997 doesn’t seem like very long ago at all.  So how should we feel about looking into the future?

In the last three weeks, two men that I have known died of massive heart attacks—one was 60 years old and one was 29 years old.

A pretty common joke circulating among older people says something to the effect of being so old that they don’t even buy green bananas anymore. On the other hand, my little one-year-old granddaughters could live into the next century—into 2100–if blessed with long lives.

When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider this: God has made the one as well as the other. Therefore, no one can discover anything about their future.  Ecclesiastes 7:14

The Preacher is always disturbingly blunt! His father David was just as precise –with better rhyme and meter–when he said in Psalm 37:37:38

Consider the blameless, observe the upright;
a future awaits those who seek peace.
But all sinners will be destroyed;
there will be no future for the wicked.

So what about 2011? What about the future?  Here’s what we can say

  • 2011 will surprise us with things expected and unexpected
  • 2011 will not be the end of the world—but it might be!
  • 2011 will be a season of beginnings and endings!
  • 2011 will be memorable for a while—but quickly forgotten.  (What happened in 1911?)
  • 2011 will be a long time ago soon!

The older I get, the less I worry about much of the future, about whether social security will be around or which party is in control, about malware and oil reserves.

The older I get, the more I think about using today well. I think about leaving a story that will point my children and grandchildren towards God just as Joshua left stones by the river so future generations would know what God had done there (Joshua 4:6).

Happy New Year in 2011! May we be righteous and seek peace, so that we can be certain of our future—as certain of our future as we are of the eternal, everlasting, infinite I AM.

 

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