The world is in a mess. Every day there seems to be something to disturb or shock us! Operation Warp Speed resulted in vaccines for the novel virus COVID-19 in months instead of years. However, there are concerns about the safety and the efficacy of these miraculous developments. The New York Times published an article worrying, “it’s unclear how well they will curb the spread of the virus.” The disturbing scenes from the January 6th violence at the US Capitol, together with the 2020 riots in Portland, Seattle, Minneapolis, Atlanta, Louisville, Chicago, Raleigh and more, cause some to wonder if civility can ever return to the republic.
Just yesterday (January 17), Bob Russell published a blog post entitled, “Is Satan Really Winning?” As Bob wrote, “The world seems to be spiraling downhill toward disaster…Evil is winning, and the church appears to be losing. The culture is coming unraveled.” So, we ask, “With everything going on, where should we focus our attention?”
Our recommendation is, “Don’t take our eyes of our future while we deal with the issues at hand.” That is a tall and difficult order. We all have been there in some fashion. We have had to carry on in our daily work, trying to be energetic and effective, while we were faced with the possibility of the company closing or our job ending. Some have had to carry the family chores while a spouse was dealing with a serious, possibly terminal, illness. When daily pressures build, our normal response is to ignore the future. “I barely have enough sanity to deal with today, there is no way I can think about the future.”
But some may ask, doesn’t Scripture tell us not to focus on the future? Jesus did say that we should not worry about tomorrow, but he did not encourage us to ignore the future while dealing with today. Christ was encouraging his followers to seek God’s kingdom and righteousness and allow all the things of the world to fall into their proper place (Matthew 6:25-34). Looking to the future, working to build a brighter future, is important even when the events of the present are urgent.
We must never forget, building our future (financial and spiritual) is a daily task. Building a spiritual future requires me to focus regularly (daily) on reading God’s word and praying with God about the concerns I face. Building a spiritual future requires me to be generous with my finances and my time, even when the present is critical. We have to deal with the tasks and concerns of our daily existence. We cannot ignore them. On the other hand, if we ignore our spiritual needs, even with good intentions to pick them up tomorrow, we weaken the foundation upon which the cares and concerns of life rest. A weakened foundation results is greater trouble in the future.
The same principle is true about our financial future. Building a bright future for our family and ourselves is a daily task. We must work consistently to minimize our debt and save for the future. We have to think carefully each day about our spending. We must avoid building debt with credit cards that will eat away our future. If possible, we should direct a percentage of every paycheck to building our emergency fund and financial base for our senior years. Including this as a part of our regular life disciplines will help us create a solid foundation upon which our financial future may stand.
Here are some thoughts to ponder.
- Our future is more important than any current political chaos.
- Our future is just as important as the current health issues.
- Our future cannot be placed on hold until all social ills are cured.
- Our future cannot be placed on hold until all tax policies are settled.
- Our future is as important as any of the life events we encounter.
In 1967, Charles Hummel wrote Tyranny of the Urgent. Hummel sought to help Christians distinguish between the urgent issue of life and the things that are truly important. In the 1994 version of his book we read, “Have you ever wished for a thirty-hour day? Surely this extra time would relieve the tremendous pressure under which we live…But would that longer day really solve our problem? Wouldn’t we soon be just as frustrated as we are now with our twenty-four-hour-allotment?”
All of life is a matter of priorities. The urgent issues of the day require our attention. We must not allow those urgent issues to deprive us from giving proper attention to the really important matters. Our financial future is an important matter that will continue to be important long after COVID-19 and the current political chaos are no longer issues. Our spiritual future is an important matter that enables us to function in every phase and age of life. It is of eternal importance!
Yes, the world is in a mess, so let’s focus on what is really important!