Tomorrow’s Phantom

Published on November 28, 2009 by CT in Blog, Thoughts


Tomorrow's Phantom

I have always taken comfort in the future.  What I mean is that I’ve always been preparing for something, and that made me feel secure because I knew where I was going, which in turn gave me a sense of control, which in turn made me feel comfortable.

For example, when I was at the Air Force Academy, I knew I was going into the Air Force.  And when I was in the Air Force and going to grad school, I knew I was eventually getting out and going into a business career.  And when I was dating Anna, I knew I was eventually going to get married.  And when she finished grad school, I knew we were eventually going to leave Los Angeles.

It hasn’t been all that different in my spiritual life.  I went through a phase of teaching where I felt like that would be what I would do for God’s kingdom, and I finally felt secure with my place in the Kingdom.  Until I went into my evangelism phase.  And then my homeless ministry phase.  And now I wonder if it’ll be the same with writing.

You’d think by now that I would stop trying to gain so much comfort from what I think my future will hold.  And I think I’m starting to do so.  It’s not because I’m finally embracing Biblical counsel on the matter; it’s because this sense of security is a phantom—it never satisfies.

I suppose this is why James would encourage me:  “Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit’—yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring.  What is your life?  For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.”

I think my failure to ultimately find comfort in the future was my failure to embrace my mist-ness.  Which is really a failure to embrace my place in the Kingdom—that of an obedient servant.  Which is why James follows his encouragement with this:  “Instead you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.’”

I think this is why we shouldn’t ever seek comfort in considering our future.  Hope is for the future; comfort is for today.  And the way to have both is the same:  faith in a God who has promised good for our future, and faith in a God who has promised to take care of us today.  Anything short of that will never satisfy.

  • Diana

    My brother Mark went to the Air Force Academy.Graduated I think 2 years after you, you remind me of him but school for him to know the lord as you.He has cancer and is restless in his soul because he does not understand gods promise to our future it something he can't control. Pray for my brother to except Gods grace. .He's so close but so far. He was married 4,years ago and now has a 17mth.old.

    • Chris_Tomlinson

      Diana, I will. God is working all things together for good for those who love Him, including you. And we can pray He will work out this situation with your brother for his good as well. Thank you for writing, and my heart goes out to you.