Sunday, April 05, 2009

Where's My Future?

Sitting in the kitchen today, my youngest son stopped whatever he was playing (he lives inside his own head, so we're never quite sure where he is) and asked me "Dad, where is my future going to be?" I may not be the most observant father on the planet, but when a teachable moment walks up and smacks me in the face like that, I usually notice!

"Where is my future going to be?" At first I thought he was maybe asking a Heaven or Hell type question. "Does Jesus love me/Am I OK with God" type of thing. Quickly I realized he wasn't thinking about anything post-mortem, but about his life here and now (which is pretty much what you get with any 5 year old). It's easy to tell where we've been or to tell someone where they are now, but there's no wall map that says "You will be here." What is a 5 year old concept of the future anyway?

I told him it was wherever he makes it. Every choice we make shapes our future. Had I made different choices throughout the years, I'd be living in a very different present than the one I'm in now. A person can really get messed up with the "What if I'd just..." queries of life (I've spent way too much time in the land of second guessing), but at 5 years old I love this question.

"Where is my future going to be?" It's like the beginning of a book. That first sentence eliminates all but a handful of options. Before that first sentence, the book could go anywhere, but as soon as it begins - the field narrows. With each decision of our lives, the field narrows. The book is being written. This makes every choice more weighty than we may have thought it was yesterday. We have to decide where we want our future to be and make the decisions that shape the world around us to create that future...

Where do you want your future to be? Are you choosing to go there?

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