Fear of What's Next

When I was a kid there were a series of popular pre-teen books called “Choose Your Own Adventure”.  I remember checking out the maximum amount of books out of the library as a kid week after week -- always wanting more.  My father convinced me to try a ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ book because it would be like getting two for one.  The books started out with a story that at climax you could choose to read up to 40 potential endings.  I struggled with the notion that not only could I have a hand in the future but there were multiple outcomes. I was stressed at nine.  

The future is often immortalized in quotes, as being some intangible entity drenched in hope and endless possibilities.  When I was 10, 16, 21, even 32 the future absolutely felt like a smorgasbord of what road to travel.  As I mature, (“mature” sounds way better than as "I age”) the future feels like a brick wrapped in gift wrapping that someone ding-dong-ditched and left at my door.  The future has become this unknown heavy weight that people tell me should feel good but the weight of its significance and unknown behavior has left me on many occasions with a therapy session's worth of anxiety.

As you mature (‘age’) we do not want the future to be this blank canvas --- we want answers and we want them now! Will I be married? Will I have children? Will my children be alright?  Will I ever get that job that feels right? Will the treatments work? Should I choose surgery? Will I stop?  Will I own a home?  Will I get out of debt?  Will I ever get over this pain?  Will. We.  Ever.  Be.  Together?  These are the questions that we want to ask the future yet the future reminds us that it is a gift waiting to slowly be unwrapped.  A gift of a new season that will come with it surprises both good and bad some based upon the choices we make today and other surprises that are out of our control.  The future cannot be rushed but it is inevitable.

The future is not valuable unless you live for today.  Today, you must choose your adventure.  Choose to live, choose to pray, choose to listen, choose to chase dreams, choose to not allow your insecurities to win.  Spend less time wondering what may happen and more time about who you want to be and what will you do today.  Fear has played a trick on us.  We have learned to fear the things we cannot see instead of fearing the things right in front of us.  There is more to fear in today’s apathy than there is in tomorrow’s future.  

I believe God has a plan for each and every single person.  In my mind God is bigger than any amount of beauty, grandeur, or compiled imaginations the greatest mind could imagine.  Worry not about the future but grasp today and make the most of every moment.  Make good choices, seize opportunities, speak truth, and go forward.  If you are going to worry about something use that energy, instead, on today because tomorrow's not promised.  Fear will rob you of the joy found in today and eventually steal your possibilities for tomorrow.  Let go of death --- death meaning...dead weight...dead people….all that speaks negativity into your life...all who do not lift you up.  Choose today your adventure.  There’s nothing wrong with plans, goals, or desires for the future we need those dreams like a baby needs milk --- but the future is created today.  Live your best life.  Do not be afraid.  Watch God conquer your fears of the future as you step out and into today!

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life?” Matthew 6:25-27