I have a problem. Whenever we go on vacation, I get a little depressed. Maybe a lot depressed. It's not that I am ungrateful for the respite or break from everyday life. It's simply that I know the vacation will end soon. In a lot of ways, I seem to miss the treasure of rest because all I can see is the work ahead. Seven days go fast when you are having fun. Seven days of the daily grind . . . not so much.
It's easy to miss the treasures in the here-and-now of this mundane life of ours.
One particular vacation, my husband mentioned that it makes him sad when I mope around waiting for the impending doom of our vacation. As we talked about why I feel so discouraged, he made this insightful comment, "Court, I really hate for you to miss the joy of this moment because you are sad about the one coming up."
This stuck with me.
It's easy to miss the treasures in the here-and-now of this mundane life of ours, isn't it? Whether you are working in an office longing for your next big promotion, spending exhausting days with toddlers and longing for the day when they are a little more self-sufficient, or single and longing for the day when you are finally someone's wife, it's easy to miss the present for the seemingly more exciting future.
But is there a better way to think about our present and our future? Should we live in dread of what's to come and miss the moment in front of us? Better yet, does the Bible have anything to say about such matters?
I think so.
Our Days Are Numbered
If we believe that God is sovereign, then we must believe that he also orders our days, from the most mundane to the most glamorous. Colossians 1:17 says that "in him all things hold together." For us, that means even the moments we are trying to escape are being held together by a sovereign God. As Christian women, instead of waiting for our life to get better with the next new or big thing or waiting for it to get worse with the end of a vacation, we would do well to remember that our days are numbered.
God's Word tells us that we need to be taught that our days are numbered so that we may gain wisdom (Ps. 90:12)—the wisdom to know that each day is from God's loving hand. The wise woman knows that every day in front of her is owing to God's sovereign, good care in her life.
The People of Your Moment
Longing for the future can often make us miss the people of our present. It's not just time that we are missing when we have an unhealthy preoccupation with the future; it’s people, too. When my twins were tiny babies, I was obsessed with them sleeping through the night, like all tired moms are. But what I missed in those early days was the wonder of a sleeping baby, albeit briefly.
Now that my twins are older I tend toward the same thing. But what I fail to recognize is that these little ones will not be little ones forever. They are the people of my moment. They will not be the people of my moment for a lifetime.
Longing for the future can often make us miss the people of our present.
Maybe your life looks different than mine. The principle still stands. Believing that God is sovereign over our days is also believing that He is sovereign over the people who fill those days.
A Healthy Anticipation
But this longing we feel is not all bad. The Bible tells us we should be longing for something. Our desperation for the future is not all for naught. It is given to us by God. He knows our longings (Ps. 38:9). He created us with a deep longing for something more glorious than a lazy weekend, the next big career move, an easy kid, or a perfect husband. He created us for heaven (Rev. 21:1–4). He created us for an eternity of worship (Ps. 107:9). He created us to be with Him forever.
Our eager anticipation of the next moment that seems so much better than the one in which we currently reside pales in comparison to the future reality that awaits us with our Savior. While our current longing for the future might border on wanderlust or escapism, a healthy anticipation of our heavenly home is what should mark all Christians. We are longing for a better place.
How do you balance the tension between a healthy longing and missing the moment in front of you?