Article by: Sarah Koontz, Founder of Living by Design Ministries
Stop. Take a breath. Look around.
What is happening in your life right now?
Is your corner of the universe organized and put together, or is it messy, complicated, and exceptionally unpredictable?
I don’t know about you, but the concept of enjoying the here and now makes me really uncomfortable.
Do you relentlessly reach for the future rather than embracing the here and now?
If so, you are definitely not alone!
When I was a little girl, I would frequently escape to the woods near my home where I had set up a little playhouse of twigs and branches.
The moment I crossed the threshold of my imaginary grown-up-home, I was transported to another place and time.
That little play house may not have been much to look at, but it was everything to me.
It was the place where my dreams came true.
Of course, I was the matriarch of my make-believe home; responsible for cooking gourmet meals of leaves, stones and grass, and caring for my imaginary family.
I was married to the most wonderful man who always treated me well and made me so happy the hours ticked away without my noticing.
I was utterly and completely satisfied in my place of refuge from the realities of life as an 8-year-old little girl.
You see, I was a lonely child.
I wasn’t very good at making or keeping friends, and I was the youngest child in our family of five.
My two older brothers weren’t too interested in playing dolls or games with their baby sister, so I chose to spend much of my time alone playing at that imaginary house in the woods.
To this very day, I find myself longing for a secluded place where I set the rules and everyone behaves exactly to my liking.
When I outgrew my little playhouse in the woods, I had to find a new place to withdraw to when life became too much for me to handle.
Somehow, the future has become that hidden place of retreat for me.
When I think on the future, I can imagine away the problems of this moment.
I can pretend that everything will work out just as I want it to.
The future was my personal place of refuge until I realized the price I was paying for investing so much time and energy into this imaginary world.
It is my prayer that I can find the strength to outgrow my obsession with the future in the same way that I outgrew that little playhouse in the woods.
Why would I long for a pretend world made of twigs and leaves when God has given me a real place to belong and a real family to care for?
Why would I choose to escape to the future when there is so much beauty happening in the here and now?
It is finally time for me to…..
ACCEPT the fact that the only thing I have power to affect is the present.
ACKNOWLEDGE that my life isn’t going to magically start tomorrow.
SURRENDER my future to the One who holds all things in His hands.
I will be the first to admit that today isn’t as pretty as the future I have been escaping to.
But that future is a fairy tale.
Real life happens today.
And today is full of complicated problems, imperfect relationships and absolute unpredictability.
Today isn’t where I want to stay, but it is exactly where I am supposed to be.
Are you ready to join me in embracing the here and now rather than escaping to a fairy tale of a future we may never have?