A lot of people have a habit of living in either their past or their future. The simple fact is neither is a very constructive way of dealing with the present. When we live in the past it can be for a number of reasons; it can be with regret for what we did or didn’t do, maybe pride for what we did do and our past glories. It can also be with fear, blame and pain for what was done to us, leaving us as victims in our present.
Conversely it is also possible to live in the future with all the things we are going to do and unhappily never get round to. This maybe because it is easier to talk about our ideas than it is to do them, to take the risk of failing is too much to cope with. So unfortunately we do nothing about it.
During our recent PK event in Christchurch I was chatting to a friend who had been helping me out at an elective. He was quite taken with a comment that I made about Moses asking God who I shall say has sent me?
Exodus 3:13-14, Moses said to God, ‘Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, “The God of your fathers has sent me to you,” and they ask me, “What is his name?” Then what shall I tell them?’
God said to Moses, ‘I am who I am.’ This is what you are to say to the Israelites: “I am has sent me to you.”’
From there I went on to point out that God didn’t say “I was” or “I will be”. Instead He said “I am”. We can only truly find God in the present. He may have been there in our past but He is not still there, just as we are not still in our past. It is unfortunate that some of our God stories are 20 years old and we are still living off them. He will be there in our future but He is not relating to us from there yet, just as we are not in our future yet. There may be times where God gives us insight into our future, but insight is all that it is until we live it.
The fact is that God is with you in your here and now. The here and now is all you can personally affect. In the present we can invest in and change our future if we are courageous and choose to believe the things that God tells us. The present may be where we allow God to help us mend the hurts and the feelings of loss from the past. It may also ensure that the successes of the past are continued into our present and future by building on what has gone before.
This is such a pertinent subject for me as we continue to develop Promise Keepers into the 2020’s. We have a great history of 27 years in New Zealand, but it is history and much has changed in that time. For me to try to lead this organisation, I must take what I can from the past and apply that with wisdom into the present to affect our future.
The essential question is what is God telling me right now in the spirit that is going to guide us into our collective PK future? I like you only have right now to make a difference, so let’s follow the Nike principle and just do it!