It is most easy for me to spend time reading, thinking, and talking about the possibilities of the future rather than to live in the present in such a way that the future becomes a reality in my own life. Dreams of a Ph.D. Dreams of pastoring in an experimental community. Consuming less, conserving more. Living in greater honesty with friends and colleagues. Loving Shey better. Being a better dad. All of these things and more are always mulling around in my mind, sometimes shaking up inside of me until the already of my present life explodes and irrupts into the present, bringing about more creative and thoughtful action. But other times, those dreams, hopes, and ideas simply corrode my insides, and bubble inside my brain until it feels like my insides are melting, and the future of which I hope to live into and see lived out, is but a folklore and mythological story faintly heard on the distant horizon.
I think oftentimes it is because I want to blame others for my shortcomings, blame others for the incaction that leads to my consumption, and blame others for their unwillingness to live as I want them to live. While writing, and writing on a regular basis helps me to process, think, and reflect on my life and the world around me in such a way that it give hope and meaning to my experiences, it can also create a tension of the already but not yet of my life: the already of changes in the last few years into the theological, practical, and experiential person that I am today. The not yet, of the possibilities and changes that the coming years still hold ahead.
I was reading a post from one of my new favorite blogs called Empire Remixed, which is a collaboration of authors, writers, and bloggers examining what it means to be a people of the kingdom of God in an age of consumerism, national religion, and postmodernism, that struck a chord within me. One of my favorite books that has humbled me to no end is Colossians Remixed: Subverting the Empire by Brian Walsh and Sylvia Keesmaat (they are husband and wife), which explores kingdom living inthe context of the age described above. One of the top 10 books of my short life so far.
Brian Walsh wrote in a post yesterday titled On "Not Getting It" and the Virtue of Humility that it is important to approach those who we feel like "don't get it" with humility first and foremost. It is so easy to create an us vs. them scenario where one side is all right, and the other side all wrong. But life is so much more complicated than this, and to speak of people and situations with the same predjudice that we are actually decrying, can itself become a huge problem in moving forward with radical reconciliation and hope.
So this morning, when the future seems to be looming in on my life in such a way that I want to run, or blame others for the shortcomings I see, or at the very least hide from my insecurities, I want to show some humility, and realize that like others, I too am in process, in need of some humility in the way that I view myself and others. The change that friends and I have talked about does not usually happen overnight, but on those days when the already of my life breaks into the hopeful future of God's kingdom, I want to be ready, open, and have eyes to see the good and hope that exists in the present, and have humility in looking forward.