Sometimes, when I start thinking ahead, I get this panicked feeling in my gut. The future is scary. Or at least, my anxious brain likes me to think that way. I don’t know what will happen in the future, ergo I can’t control it, ergo I’m going to DIE! Quick! Panic!
The solution to this, of course, is to give God your future and trust that “In all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28).” Easier said than done, of course. It is difficult to trust that God has you where you are with the people you’re with, doing the things you are doing for a reason. It is difficult to trust that said things have an endpoint that is ultimately good. It is difficult to not fall into the same pattern of thinking as the people addressed in James 4:13-17; making plans without discussing them with God.
Question is, how do you balance planning for success with living in the moment and trusting God to work out the future? Some people read the passage in James and take it to the extreme: never make plans, don’t think ahead, just live for the here and now. All very well and good, but do I think that making plans and having goals are good, healthy things to do. It’s when your goals and plans take over your life and you are never satisfied with where you are right here, because you are not yet there that you start to have problems.
So what can I do to work towards finding some balance between making plans and living in the moment? The answer my friends, brings this post round to my New Year’s resolution for 2016: to daily set smaller, achievable goals for myself, such as reading X pages and doing Y practice problems, wile also worrying less about Z work I will need to do tomorrow. As a result of this I want to appreciate the here and now more and worry less about the future.
I know I have already failed at this about a thousand times in the five days since New Year’s, but worrying that I will be worried about the future kind of defeats the point. I also know that it is easy to become cynical about resolutions because people don’t always manage to keep them for an entire year. But one thing I have learned about big, seemingly unachievable goals (particularly ones that are pretty vague, like “worry less”) is that you have to break them down into smaller, achievable chunks, and you also have to reward yourself when you achieve your smaller goals. Even more importantly for me, at least, is the realization that you have to let go of everything you messed up yesterday and start today fresh. Because being upset about being upset yesterday is pretty stupid.
So yeah. If I ever remember that this was my New Year’s resolution come December I might give you an update on how this went.
Do you make New Year’s resolutions? Have you ever actually kept them? I wish you all a happy new year! 😀