The future is safer than the present because we are less likely to fail something we have not attempted. It takes less faith and sacrifice to anticipate what is still to come than it does to step out right now and trust God in the moment! Don’t get me wrong…I believe in planning and dreaming, envisioning what the Lord has in store for His people one day. But there is a certain sense in which we must make choices and take actions now that will shape what that future will bring by God’s grace.
Sometimes we find wisdom in sources we do not always expect. The Scottish satirist and religious skeptic of the 18th century, Thomas Carlyle, gave us this observation: “Our greatest business in life is not to see what lies dimly at a distance, but to do what lies clearly at hand.” If we have clarity for right now, we dare not postpone what God has placed before us right now and presume upon tomorrow. James addresses this tendency in James 4:13-17:
Come now, you who say, “ Today or tomorrow, we shall go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.” Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. Instead, you ought to say, “ If the Lord wills, we shall live and also do this or that.” But as it is, you boast in your arrogance; all such boasting is evil. Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do, and does not do it, to him it is sin.
What has the Lord shown me today? What do I know is the right thing to do without having to wait for another day to come? The Lord is watching and waiting for a people to be faithful now. His plans and purposes for the days ahead cannot be thwarted. Therefore, we can seize the day we have at hand and do what we know…and trust Him for what is to come!