Monday, April 30, 2007

Snapshots of the Future

My dreams for the future are like my memory: snapshots. With careful rehearsing and thought, I can link images in some sort of sequence to compile memories. But when I imagine my future, or when I talk about what I want my future to be, there are only images. I don't know how it will, or how I want it, to happen. As a matter of fact, how I want my life to unfold doesn't matter; I've learned very well that it never follows my plan.

There are images of church. Worship with friends, and intelligent, deep conversations about truth and its applications. I see myself encouraging a husband, or listening to him, and praying with him. There are scenes where I am holding a baby. Toddlers cling to my skirts. Children receiving their lessons from mom. Me singing through chores. Close talks with my teenage daughters. Laughter with my sons.

Even before that I can conjure pictures of what a courtship might look like. But here's the thing: the suitor is the one big unknown in the picture, and I know well enough to understand that he will be other, and unpredictable, and I'll be reacting to his choices and his dreams. I can control singing. And I can rear children. Those are choices I can make and form. But in the sequence leading there, I'm all leaning on God to control and to form and to work in His masterful way.

This fact leaves my view of courtship frustratingly hard to explain. All I could tell you is how I would respond in a given situation (because I, as a romantic, have considered these). How serious is he? How serious am I? What do my parents think? How is life working out around the relationship? What is God teaching me?

Come to think of it, the biblical prophecies are like my future-vision, too. Especially in the Old Testament, we got glimpses of moments in the future, and putting them together was a complicated, thoughtful business. Even now, even tonight at Awana, we are still discussing the order of events to come. We know it happens. We saw the act in the play. But we don't know for sure what act comes when. Thus it might be argued this is how God wants our understanding of the future to be.

"(For we walk by faith, not by sight)"
~ 2 Corinthians 5:7

"The wind bloweth where it listeth,
and thou hearest the sound thereof,
but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth:
so is every one that is born of the Spirit."
~ John 3:8

"Many are the plans in the mind of a man,
but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand."
~ Proverbs 19:21 (ESV)

To God be all glory.

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