There was a headline in my newspaper today that caught my attention. It read;
Blind mystic who foresaw 9/11 and Brexit predicts gloom for 2019
If I took this headline at face value (which I do not), 2019 looks as though there may be trouble ahead. I looked at the article in question and, to be honest, when I finished it I I was not inclined to take it seriously. The “predictions” were so general, they could have fitted any number of situations and I couldn’t work out where Brexit and 9/11 fitted in.
There is a term I came across recently, future gazing. Future gazing is about reading the signs of the times and predicting what the future may look like. Future gazing is not just something confined to the realms of newspaper mystics but, some big corporations have future gazing departments to try and predicts trends so they can provide goods to meet changing markets. Future gazing is something that many people do, particularly as we prepare ourselves to enter into a New Year.
The article did make me stop and think about the coming year. What is in store for me, our community and nation 2019? In all honesty, I have not got a clue. I know that some people find this kind of uncertainty unsettling and so, for them, future gazing can be a worrying experience.
It made me think about a passage from Deuteronomy 30. The people of Israel had spent 40 years wandering in the wilderness. Now, they stood on the edge of the promised land. Life was going to be different and, maybe, the people engaged in a bit of future gazing. Making plans for what life could be like. Moses takes the opportunity to remind the people that no matter what lay ahead of them, they would be faced with the choice to either walk in God’s ways or, away from God;
See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction. For I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess.
(Deuteronomy 30 vs. 15 – 16)
The same choice lays before us too. No matter what happens, in terms of the world’s bigger picture we choose whether we will walk in God’s ways or not.
This morning, just after I read the piece in the paper, I read a quote from Henri Nouwen which said;
Remember you are held safe. You are loved. You are protected. You are in communion with God and with those whom God has sent you. What is of God will last. It belongs to the eternal life. Choose it, and it will be yours