Sunday, August 1, 2010

Are We Looking Back To The Future?

It's been about slightly more than a month since I crossed over into HopeKids ministry. And it's been such a wonderful and eye-opening experience, and I can safely say that I know I am where God wants me to be. :) Hee. One dear bro was concerned that being in HopeKids might cause me to lose out on receiving the necessary life-station experiences from my fellow bros and sisters who are in the same life-station as me. But well, the CG that I'm in has people as young as 21, and as old as 50+. Working adults, family members, almost senior citizens... whether single, married or divorced - my CG really has a lot of life-stations. And oh yes, the children too. :)

So I think my bro's concerns can be put to rest haha. But yes, I am so glad to be where God wants me to be. Why should we worry about whether our needs will be met, when it comes to responding to God's call? Shouldn't we focus instead on equipping and preparing ourselves to get ready and move out to wherever God is calling us to? I like how Uncle Lee puts it so nicely:
"Prepare thyself to be competent enough to serve in any area. While God equips the called, it does not mean we sit down there and slack. We prepare ourselves."

Frankly, I believe that one thing that hinders us from going where God wants us to be is our thinking that we must first know what's going to be there. Honestly, this attitude is going to cause us to miss out so much on what God wants us to be and do. Abraham, Moses, the prophets, the apostles... the missionaries, the great cloud of witness... and people like you and me today they only knew their present conditions and their promised ends. They only knew today and eternity, but not the morrow. And they were not worried about "tomorrow".

But we who lack faith look to "tomorrow", like a marathon runner tiredly plodding, staring at nothing but the hard ground and his plodding feet - instead of lifting up his eyes and staring far ahead unto journey's end, and forgetting the great cloud of spectators who are cheering him on. No wonder our days start becoming mundane! Who can get excited looking at only his own feet and the road?

C.S. Lewis wrote precisely about this in his Screwtape Letters, in which a senior demon writes to his junior devil ("the Enemy" here refers to Christ):
(1) The humans live in time but our Enemy destines them to eternity. He therefore, I believe, wants them to attend chiefly to two things, to eternity itself, and to that point of time which they call the Present. For the Present is the point at which time touches eternity. Of the present moment, and of it only, humans have an experience analogous to the experience which our Enemy has of reality as a whole; in it alone freedom and actuality are offered them. He would therefore have them continually concerned either with eternity (which means being concerned with Him) or with the Present—either meditating on their eternal union with, or separation from, Himself, or else obeying the present voice of conscience, bearing the present cross, receiving the present grace, giving thanks for the present pleasure.

(2) Our [the demons] business is to get them away from the eternal, and from the Present. With this in view, we sometimes tempt a human (say a widow or a scholar) to live in the Past. But this is of limited value, for they have some real knowledge of the past and it has a determinate nature and, to that extent, resembles eternity. It is far better to make them live in the Future. Biological necessity makes all their passions point in that direction already, so that thought about the Future inflames hope and fear. Also, it is unknown to them, so that in making them think about it we make them think of unrealities. In a word, the Future is, of all things, the thing least like eternity. It is the most completely temporal part of time—for the Past is frozen and no longer flows, and the Present is all lit up with eternal rays. Hence the encouragement we have given to all those schemes of thought such as Creative Evolution, Scientific Humanism, or Communism, which fix men's affections on the Future, on the very core of temporality. Hence nearly all vices are rooted in the future. Gratitude looks to the past and love to the present; fear, avarice, lust, and ambition look ahead. Do not think lust an exception. When the present pleasure arrives, the sin (which alone interests us) is already over. The pleasure is just the part of the process which we regret and would exclude if we could do so without losing the sin; it is the part contributed by the Enemy, and therefore experienced in a Present. The sin, which is our contribution, looked forward.

(3) To be sure, the Enemy wants men to think of the Future too—just so much as is necessary for now planning the acts of justice or charity which will probably be their duty tomorrow. The duty of planning the morrow's work is today's duty; though its material is borrowed from the future, the duty, like all duties, is in the Present. This is not straw splitting. He does not want men to give the Future their hearts, to place their treasure in it. We do. His ideal is a man who, having worked all day for the good of posterity (if that is his vocation), washes his mind of the whole subject, commits the issue to Heaven, and returns at once to the patience or gratitude demanded by the moment that is passing over him. But we want a man hag-ridden by the Future—haunted by visions of an imminent heaven or hell upon earth—ready to break the Enemy's commands in the present if by so doing we make him think he can attain the one or avert the other — dependent for his faith on the success or failure of schemes whose end he will not live to see. We want a whole race perpetually in pursuit of the rainbow's end, never honest, nor kind, nor happy now, but always using as mere fuel wherewith to heap the altar of the future every real gift which is offered them in the Present.

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