Help, for When the Future is Unknown

Help, for When the Future is Unknown January 7, 2013

At the start of a new year, your next 12 months are always unknown.


That’s why your next 12 months can be an adventure. As well as scary.


Will you win the lottery? Or will your house burn down?


You don’t know.


So what do you do? You plan. You leap boldly. You keep going forward. And you buy insurance.


Even then, with all your best planning efforts, the future is always unknown. Anything can still happen.


So what helps?


Consider Adam, the first man. In Adam’s beginning, all of his future was equally unknown to him. The one great thing Adam had going for him at the start of something new was an unparalleled connection with God.


At first, it was just Adam and God and a new world. A big river flowed through Eden, blue-brown and washy, and God and Adam walked alongside the river. They talked about fishing, I suppose—both marveling at the way the silver underside of a trout flashed when it jumped out of the water, caught the sunlight, and disappeared. It was a great connection to have: God and man both hiking beside the same big river. Walking. Talking.


The rest of Adam’s story is part drama, part dark comedy, part thriller. At first, Adam enjoyed everything a man could want. Then forbidden fruit was digested, and the universe crapped out a curse upon the world.


In the end, Adam traded life with a lithe, always-naked woman for an aging spouse clothed in grimy animal skins. He swapped a perfect job—animal namer—for the job of stump grinding and rock picking. Tragedy struck, and one of Adam’s sons murdered the other.


It wasn’t the best life, but even outside Eden, life wasn’t utterly horrible for Adam. One of his descendants, Jubal, was the first maker of music. At least there were songs around the campfire, stories in the night.


Ask yourself: what sustained Adam throughout the rest of his days, through good experiences as well as difficult?


Could it have been Adam’s memory? Any time the man wanted, Adam could think back to the beginning, to his walks alongside the river with God.


Because of that close connection, Adam was able to be truly grateful in the good times. He could be happy for all he worked for and gained. He could be thankful for what he’d been given and didn’t deserve. Correspondingly, in the bad times, Adam could cry out to Someone who listened. He could ask for and receive the favor of Providence. He could sing to God the Blues.


A similar invitation is ours—and it’s not to join a particular religion, denomination, or cause. Rather, it’s to consider the big river.


In other words, whatever the next 12 months holds, it’s to connect deeply with God.


This connection is possible today, because God is closer than we think.


Faith presents the idea of another man who makes everything new—a child in a straw ox manger. He’s sometimes called “a second Adam.” Instead of a man who destroys relationships, this man makes all things right. Through this other man, a close connection with God is possible again for us.


Here’s the bold invitation this year: No matter what happens in the next 12 months—good or bad—remember what Adam remembered. Once there was a big river where God walked side by side with a man. That big river still flows today, in a manner of speaking. Through another means, the same God is still close.


May this be a year where we get our fishing poles, lace up our boots, and go for a walk.



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