It's not really a recent crisis, how the past, present, and future should influence our journey. The human species has always had some difficulty finding balance in the times of our lives. Some of us are wired with keen retro vision, personal strengths to identify value and purpose in what was. At the same time there are millions today who are over-whelmed by the circumstances of the moment. Backward and forward are both subsumed by now. Then again, forward is a life focus of anticipation and expectation that moves many of us past the exigencies of this minute. In total, they are essentially the stuff creating so much unrest in the social dynamics around us. Our points of reference seem so at odds that precious unity and harmony, our historical character, appears threatened. Who among us can deny the racial tension that has marked our national epoch? How are we mere humans going to solve these tragic realities? Can this racial and cultural unrest, among so many other crises, be finally remedied.
The Christian worldview, in my limited opinion, gives us direction in understanding the times of our lives, as diverse as they are. If every Christian in America, somewhere in the neighborhood of 65% of our population, would live this worldview beyond Sunday, we could perhaps overcome the division that seems so destructive right now. And, in my heart and mind, every believer should lean forward, that is, view life through the glorious promises our heavenly Father have graciously given us. You see, as believers, we are promised an abundant life in the here and now, and the joys and blessings of eternity when our lives here end. Yes, there's past we'll discuss on Tuesday, and a right here right now perspective we'll get to later this week. Today we're leaning forward, what should be the prevailing attitude lens for people of faith.
It's a stretch for many church people, perhaps those in mosques and synagogues as well. The precepts of our faith are ancient. In many ways our spiritual absolutes include preserving our historic traditions and the tenets that comprise our belief systems. At times those historic practices and virtue become idols of worship rather than precious ideals. Being cemented to the past keeps many of us from leaning forward. What God has for his people in the future is often obscured by the drive to protect what was. But, leaning forward refreshes our understanding of what God has promised. Leaning forward is a profound Biblical stance in this Christian worldview. Make note---
Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you.
Proverbs 4: 25, ESV
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil,
to give you a future and a hope.
Jeremiah 29: 11, ESV
And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion
at the day of Jesus Christ.
Philippians 1: 6, ESV
But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man
imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him".
1 Corinthians 2: 9, ESV
Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think,
according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ
Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
Ephesians 3: 20-21, ESV
For he (Abraham) was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer
and builder is God.
Hebrews 11: 10, ESV
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he
has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ
from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in
heaven for you,
1 Peter 1: 3-4, ESV
As usual, there are many more Scripture passages that emphasize the blessings and hope that awaits us. As noted, those promises are innumerable, beyond measure. They should be our guides when past, present, and future are colliding in our everyday lives. Anticipating heaven and the joys of eternity should produce in us the changes of heart that give correction to our relational complications and human responses to the people around us.
We should live here on this earth with a view of what God has promised. And, in this new nature, we should lean forward.