The future is now… be glad in it.

September 12, 2016

“My future starts when I wake up every morning.”  (Miles Davis) – seen recently on the Jack’s Winning Words blog.

Wow, I’m living in the future. I woke up this morning. As one gets older, one doesn’t take that event as casually as \when they were young. Time becomes a bit more precious, even as it seems to speed up and fly by.restless sleep

Some people dread the future or perhaps just the next day, especially if it’s a Monday. A few may spend so much time being concerned about the future and what it might bring that they fail to live in the moment – in today. For those people the dawn of a new day awakens fears and causes anxiety.

I am reminded of a the words of Psalm 118-24 –

“This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”

Perhaps if one starts each day by reciting the Psalm it will put them in the right frame of mind to face the day. The future is now…I, for one, am glad to be in it. No matter what listening toi music.pngtoday may hold, being there to experience it is certainly better than the alternative.

The future is now…rejoice and be glad in it.

We’re not going that way.

December 31, 2015

“Don’t look back.  We’re not going that way.”  (Book by Marcia Wallace) – as seen on the blog Jack’s Winning Words.It

It is a time of the year that we glance back at the events of the year just passed. To say the least, 2015 was a scary year for many. There were too many storms across the country, too many wars still being fought overseas and too much killing and resulting unrest in the streets of America. The economy was still a bit shaky and none too generous for those with jobs. But, the good news is – We’re not going that way.

Looking ahead and seeing promise in the future has always been the American way. There are those who would like to take us back to the “good ole days”, but most understand that those days, while maybe containing a few fthinking of the pastondly remembered events, weren’t necessarily all that great.  We cannot turn back the clock and recapture the simpler life depicted in the fictional TV town of Mayberry; nor would we really want to, because we would be missing out on the great advances that have been made in technology and medicine and other fields that makes life better today that it was 10-20 years ago – in simpler times. That won’t happen of course, because – We’re not going that way.

Perhaps you have some friends that you might classify as Luddites. Those 19th Century self employed weavers went on rampages against the invention of automated looms that threatened to  (and eventually did) put them out of business. They were against the march of technology as a way to save on labor n industry. We use the term today to refer to people who resist modern technologies. Perhaps you know someone who refuses to have a computer or an email account or a smartphone (or a phone of any sort for that matter). They steadfastly resist modern technology and many live lives “off the grid” so to speak. Some even live without electricity and other modern conveniences. It’s hard to imagine life without all of those things and most of us don’t have to because – We’re not going that way.

Then there are the people that you might know who believe that their best days are behind them. There’s the high school jock who relives forever the high school homecoming game in which he threw the winning football playertouchdown. He may still be living in the same town and still wearing his high school letter jacket 40-50 years later. He works down at the car wash now, where he is still a minor celebrate (at least in his mind) to the people of the town who remember his heroics. Or maybe you know the guy or gal who never married because they are still holding out hope that a failed romance or marriage of decades ago will somehow be rekindled and work this time. They can’t let go; but you can, because – We’re not going that way.

Famed black baseball player Satchel Paige had a saying – “Don’t look back, something might be gaining on you.” He might have been referring to old age and death or just about someone from your past trying to catch you about something that you did. In either event his advice was good – look ahead rather than back because – We’re not going that way.

So keep your eyes on the prize, which is always ahead and not back. You may have missed the opportunity for last year’s prize; but until the time travel promise of the movie Back to the Future comes true, you’ll need to dreamsfocus ahead on the opportunities that lie in front of you for 2016. There’s an exciting adventure just ahead, with interesting twists and turns and a wonderful prize at the end. There’s a really neat person that you haven’t met yet just waiting for you in 2016 and a new job opportunity that hasn’t been create yet. A wondrous New Year is about to unfold;  so, come on, let’s go; I can’t wait while you look back at the past because – We’re not going that way.

Look forward to making new memories…

December 29, 2015

“The nice thing about memories is that even if we forget some…We can always make new ones.”  (Ziggy) – as seen some time ago on the Jack’s Winning Words blog. This is the time of the year that we reflect back onZiggy the events of 2015 and look ahead to 2016. Hopefully we also use our memories of events in 2015 as teaching moments and learn from them. Then we can move on and make new and more rewarding memories in 2016.

More recently Jack posted about Jimmy Carter and his ability to use the things that happen to him in life as teaching moments in his Sunday school class – “Everything that happens in life, good or bad, he uses as a teaching experience.”  (Marina Fang) Carter recently used the announcement of the death of his grandson as the basis for a Sunday school class about turning to God for comfort in times of loss. Hopefully you find new knowledge and wisdom in reflecting upon the things that have happened to you. And, hopefully, you also know that God is there when you need him to help you get through some of the darkest moments.

For those who fail to learn from their own mistakes and misfortunes, dinosaurthere is another saying that Jack posted recently by poet Robert Frost – “How many things have to happen to you before something occurs to you?”  Hopefully, you are not so oblivious that Frost’s quote applies to you. I have known people who couldn’t figure out why bad things seemed to happen to them all the time and they tend to be people who put themselves in bad situations due to poor decision making. There is a difference between just having bad luck and making bad decisions that put you in harm’s way. Try to see the differences and understand how to make better decisions.

So, here we are approaching a new year – one that is full of new memories for us. Take the time to reflect on 2015; the decisions that you made personally and the outcomes that resulted. For the things that happened to you that turned out badly, try to see where you might have made different decisions that could have resulted in different outcomes. decisionsSometimes there were no alternatives available, because some things just happen and you just happened to be there when they occurred. But many times, there were different paths that you could have taken that day to arrive at a different place and not be in the position to have those bad things happen to you. Most people can see where they went wrong when they reflect back on the events and decision leading up to an event. Learn from that hindsight.

Probably the most important advice for going successfully into the New Year is to be open to change. Too many people try to live in the past; they can’t let go of how things used to be. Politicians in particular seem to use references to how things used to be as if going back to the “good ole days, when America was great” is either possible or even preferable. They allude to simpler times – the good ole days when there were fewer of “them” and when people just looked the other way and  racism, sexism, and prejudices were the accepted way of life. All of their simplistic sloganeering accomplishes nothing, but it evokes nostalgia in a portion of the electorate. The “change” that they espouse is to march backward in time, which is impossible and why most of them fail when elected. They had no real plan for the future.

Rather than look back (other than to learn from our mistakes), it’s betterwomen dreaming to look forward to the new things that have yet to happen. Yes, the old songs of 2015 and before were great, but think of all the new songs that you have yet to hear. Your old friends will still be there (most anyway) and there are new friends to be made. The adventures that you had in 2015 may have been wonderful, but there are still unexplored places and new things to try in 2016. There are memories out there just waiting for you to have them.  The future is a wondrous place and you are about to step into it.

Prepare to have a great 2016.