What is in Front of You Now?

I spent a large portion of my late teens and adult life wondering and fretting over what was next for me. No matter what I was faced with that day, it seemed to be overshadowed by my curiosity and desire for what was next. 

I don't believe praying for, wondering about, or even planning for the future is bad; but missing the beauty and importance of the lessons of today for the sake of dreaming of tomorrow is a practice we need to avoid.  

I am sure we can all remember recent conversations when we were trying to tell a story, or connect with a friend or family member, and they were busy on their phone texting, posting, or searching. It is a unpleasant experience, and even though we are likely guilty of the same thing at times, it is not much fun to be dismissed for the sake of something or someone else. 

This momentary expression of divided attention in a conversation, is a smaller picture of exactly what we are doing with our every moment when we are constantly distracted with tomorrow and our future. 

This is of course unkind to the people who are present in our today, but there is a larger context that is important to understand in this as well. 

James 1:4 says, "And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing."

Our ability to be present, to stand, to take in, to learn, to participate, and to hear and see everything that is in our present moment is what prepares us for tomorrow. 

Consider then, if you and I float through today not learning the lessons of the day, how painfully ill-equipped will we be for tomorrow? 

Seasons of learning prepare us for seasons of teaching; seasons of serving prepare us for seasons of leading; seasons of being part of a team prepare us for seasons of leading a team; seasons of listening prepare us for seasons of speaking; seasons of receiving prepare us for seasons of giving.

You have no doubt heard expressions like, "Until you fully understand the practice and power of following, you will never be a great leader." or "Until you have been faithful with a little, you will not be trusted to be faithful with much."

Sayings and verses like these, are the proof of this truth. Fully embracing the lessons of today and the challenges in front of us, make us ready for the challenges and opportunities we will walk into tomorrow. 

Allow me to encourage you with this, if you are looking at what is in front of you, and find yourself constantly wishing you were past this season and onto the next, consider perhaps that it is God's goodness that keeps you where you are, so that you can be well prepared and ready for tomorrow. 

Consider what is in front of you now. Serve there, learn there, listen there, and grow there. Before you know it, you will be made ready for the future you have been dreaming for.