I’ve often wished I could crawl into H.G Well’s time machine. Perhaps you have too, but our bodies anchor us to the present. Moving back in the past or getting a peak at the future is only available in science fiction. Yet while we are physically bound within the limitations of time, our thoughts, emotions, and choices are not.
For instance the Christian is to be grateful that his sins of the past have been forgiven (1 Cor. 6:9-11). Likewise, he is to live his life with the end in view.
Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you (Philippians 3:13-15).
You and I tend to live our lives from the center of our story. Such a temporal perspective will cause us to feel trapped by our circumstances. For instance, when things are going well, that’s great; but when things are difficult it’s easy to get discouraged.
When we read about biblical characters it’s easier for us to see the end of the story.
Here are a few examples:
- We know that Moses will be used to split the Red Sea, and victoriously lead the Israelites out of Egypt; but we forget that he cared for sheep in the desert for 40 years first.
- We read the letters of Paul, and know that they have ministered to millions of people, but we forget that they were written when Paul was facing beatings, danger, toil, and hardship (2 Cor. 11:24-27).
We live life from the center of the story, but our thinking is not trapped there. We must learn to set our eyes on the end of the story. When life is challenging today, remember God’s promises for tomorrow. Here’s one:
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).