There is an amazing saying that i have always enjoyed that i only realized a few years ago when i really started exploring Christianity the Gospel of Matthew has a very different view “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” I have always enjoyed the sentiment but have never really been able to identify with it. I have always had the mindset of the Gospel of Fleetwood Mac quoted in the title.
Personally i always have one foot in the future, not like some weird episode of Stargate SG1, but i am always thinking “what’s next?”. This mindset manifests itself in a multitude of ways, positively, i am always so pumped about upcoming holidays, events, movies, album releases etc but negatively i can often be wracked with worry about an upcoming meeting so much so that nothing else will be able to occupy my mind.
Lets break this down into 2 categories, a wise man once told me that there is nothing wrong with dreaming/looking ahead but there are 2 types of dreaming, Helpful Dreaming and Unhelpful Dreaming. The first tends to be more positive, looking forward to imminent ventures, excitement of looking forward to seeing you Spouse/Kids/Parents/Cats/Dogs face on Christmas morning when they open that present you have been thinking about for months. The latter, while positive intentions are meant in the first instance tend to end up fairly negative, Spending hours trawling through Travel supermarket looking for that dream holiday that you cant afford, wasting hours of your life thinking if i won the lottery i would _________ (fill in the blank, but don’t spend too much time otherwise you are playing right into the negativity that i am talking about!) and while these are all fun things at the time; what happens when the dream doesn’t match the reality, what are we left with? resentment that we are not where we want to be, disappointment and in some cases a massive credit card bill for where we have tried to achieve these unreachable dreams.
So how do we balance the wisdom of both not worrying about the future and looking forward to things that are forthcoming? oh how i wish i could give a simple answer to this question, the honest truth is i don’t really know but here are some things that really help me. I try at all things to be reliant on God, i think the quicker we realize that we cant do everything our selves the easier the journey of life will be (that’s my Christian slot over). Look forward to the positive and plan for the negative, i find that there is a massive difference between worrying about the future and strategically planning for it, here is what i mean by this; when there is a situation that you would normally worry about there is no point throwing yourself a pitty party of 1 and eating worry and fear with your Moroccan salsa dip! if something is bothering you do something about it, break it down into smaller steps to deal with what is going on then you are at least attempting to breakdown what ever mountain it is your facing. Here is a great quote that i think really inspires but also relieves pressure on this matter “I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying.” Micheal Jordan. When we try to sort something out we don’t know what will happen, but if we don’t try we certainly know what will happen and the result will be your still in exactly the same position as you were when you started.
Great now the horrible negative stuff is out of the way here is my more positive advice, really go all out on looking forward to things that you should be excited about, don’t let the negative things going on rob you of the joy of the positives you have to look forward to. Be childlike in your excitement, it is a lot more fun than being reserved and adult about things. Here is an example from my life recently; we have had an absolute rust bucket of a car for the last year and a half, it was nearly as old as i am and it was certainly as slow as i am, so when we bought a car off a friend of ours i felt so excited going to see it but i had a thought of “Oh i need to look like a serious buyer, i don’t want to give too much away or he’ll try and mug me off” and other similar thoughts but i chose not to listen to those and i turned up to the viewing like a kid that had been given sugar for the first time ever, i was buzzing and i didn’t suppress this feeling and i can tell you it felt 100% better than if i just kept a straight face, kicked the tires a few times and tried to low ball him on the price. I was probably the most excited anyone has ever been about a 2001 Ford Focus with a few bumps and scrapes. The morale of this tale is; let yourself feel excitement, don’t let other things weigh you down. In this moment while i was checking out the car like a 9 year old at Disney World i had things going on in my life; a massive credit card bill, worries about cost of tax and insurance, i had a sub par day at work and my team suffered because of me, my wife was going through some junk of her own but choosing to allow myself to feel excitement rather than getting crushed under the weight of negativity helped me look up and see a way forward and i had fun! who doesn’t like fun?!?!.
So what i have tried to say in all this rambling is really look forward to the future with whole hearted excitement and don’t worry about it plan for it.