By now you are wondering what this has to do with anything. My point is that I am very organized and have to work on not getting bent out of shape when others aren't. I have to admit that I know others that are more organized then I am. A friend of mine prepares a 3 ring binder for his vacations with a step-by-step itinerary as to what his family is doing every hour of the day. I just take a 3 ring binder filled with information on my destination.
As a result of being a planner, I used to live for vacations. I would plan them out a year in advance, and just look forward to my next trip with the family. One of the things that I started realizing however, is that I can tend to miss out on what is happening in the here and now, by only focusing on the future. Matthew 6:34 tells us to "take no thought for tomorrow," however Hosea 4:6 says, "His people perish for a lack of knowledge." I have heard knowledge also substituted with "vision."
Wouldn't you agree that it is easy to get caught up in only looking ahead, that we sometimes forget to live in the now. Here are a few examples that I have seen:
1) As a financial planner, I see so many people plan for the future financially, that they forget to be sensible and wise now. I have seen many people work 60-80 hours a week, just so they can get that dream home that they can retire in. However, they forgot to focus on their marriage during that time, and they lose everything by getting divorced, and many times filing for bankruptcy.
2) I have seen plenty of people work their tails off so that they can provide a superior college education for their children, only to realize that their children go off to college not respecting their parents. All of this due to an event that the parent planned for in the future, that they didn't spend the time nurturing and raising their children along the way. Our children would much rather have their mom and dad spend time with them daily, versus buy them things.
3) Many "Christians" live their lives for Heaven. They only think of God's blessings as an after-life event that will take place in the future sometime, either when Jesus comes back or they pass away. They fail to take a hold of the blessings that Jesus has for us right now daily. Don't misinterpret what I am saying. I am not advocating the "Prosperity Message" that God will give you a million dollars and a fancy car, if you live your life correctly. Quite the contrary. I feel that we need to abandon "The American Dream" that has been sold to us as a Bill of Goods for so many years. I personally am on an aggressive track to get out of debt, downsize, spend more time with my family, and every waking minute under the guidance of His Holy Spirit. I can't wait to spend time with God every minute of the day. It is not something that is in the future for me, but a relationship right now that I develop, just like my marriage and parenting.
So you can see that there are many "Event" based things that we tend to get caught up with in life. Instead of planning for a fishing trip a year out with my kids, I plan the trip, then take them fishing back home through the year. Instead of my son planning to run in the state finals for Cross Country, we look forward to that even, but get out daily and run and practice together. Instead of working 60-80 hours for something that is made of "Wood-Hay-and Stubble" I am focused on building a spiritual household that will last through the ages by working 40 hours a week. Instead of buying my marriage, I invest in it with acts of service on a daily basis.
May we all evaluate our lives to make sure that we are not missing out on the joy of today, by just focusing on tomorrow...