Ensure the Future

Many people have bad feelings about the future.  They see it as more nightmare than dream, more enemy than friend.  Some fear the future because of the way it pushes aside the past.  Others fear the future because it may not be genuinely new, but instead a repetition.
Jesus was also concerned about the future.    He was concerned about the way people try to ensure the future will work out exactly as they desire.  He was concerned about the energy people spend constructing vast rules, fixing unbreakable behavior patterns in order to provide security.  Jesus felt that simple security was not the purpose of life.
When we read closely his parables, you notice they are directed against attempts to ensure the future, from barns full of grain to everything he spoke of under the category of “mammon”.  One could almost sum up his parables with the statement, “There is no security.”  So many are depressed about the future because they see all their attempts to provide security and control for the future failing hopelessly.
Of course, Jesus did not have this anxiety about the future.  He was not one of these people who believe everything is going to the dogs so that the best thing to do is pray for the destruction of the world.  His message is that the future is not unknowable.  He tells us that the future is even now beneficent because it is controlled by a loving and caring Father.  Through Jesus we know that the future holds the coming of the Kingdom of God.
I knew a man who spent his entire life seeking security.  He wanted absolute protection from the changes and problems of life.  His insurance agent and doctors loved him.  When he got to the end of his life, he lost everything in the 2008 Great Recession.  It dawned on him – and he was able to laugh about it – that he had made every decision trying to insure a safe future, but he now realized that it was impossible.  Sadly, he wished he had lived and not just worried.  He wished that he had loved others instead of watching them from a distance.
If you feel anxious about the future, if you see it as more nightmare than dream, more enemy than friend, then look at Jesus’ point of view.  He trusts God and lives.