Saturday, April 4, 2009

Looking to the future

Sometimes, when things seem hopeless, it's good to focus on the future. Looking forward to a better time, and better day. I know when I was in the Army I spent 2 years overseas in Europe. I was stationed in Stuttgart Germany, and even though it was wonderful living there and experiencing life in Europe, I also missed home and America. I remember on those days that I was homesick, I would think to myself, this is only temporary and it's not going to last forever, it won't be long before I'm back home and this would always make me feel better and even help me be able to endure whatever I was going through or feeling at the time.

The day before my oldest son Eric was to go into jail for the next 2 and half years of his life, I was riding my motorcycle and thinking about how difficult this was going to be for him. How difficult this was going to be for his Mom, his brother, and myself. I was pained at the thought of this separation for so long. Remembering how it helped me to look forward to the future when I was stationed in Europe I thought to myself, "I need to give Eric something to look forward to in the future when he finally gets out. A carrot "so to speak" that will await him when he gets out in a few years. Eric had always wanted to learn to ride my bike so I went home and had Eric join me on the bike and I spend some time with him his last free day teaching him how to ride. He absolutely loved riding the bike and he did very well. After our short time together I made Eric a promise. I told him to remember how good it felt to ride and never forget it while he's in jail, because when he gets out... the bike is his. I told him I wanted him to have my bike and look forward to once again feeling the freedom you feel when your riding a bike down the road. Of course he was excited about this and as I had hoped, over the next few years while I'd visit him in jail we talk about one day getting to ride again. I believe this helped him more than I ever dreamed. It's in times like these we need something to look forward to, helping to take our mind off of what we're going through at the moment.

Yesterday, Eric got his bike! It's taken a few months since he got out but he practiced riding and took his test to get his motorcycle licence and after getting insurance yesterday he finally got his bike. It's his! I wish that I had planned better, because right now I'm without a bike, but Eric doesn't seem to mind me riding whenever I want until I get another one of my own.

You know, I find it very helpful to look to the future when times get tough. Looking forward can pull you through because you always know there is a better day ahead. Don't let today's problems ruin your hopes for tomorrow. You know when you have Jesus as your Lord and Savior, there's always a better day ahead. This has always helped me through the tough times in my life. I hope you too have Jesus in your life. Because I promise you... when you go through trials, when you go through set backs or struggles, you won't be alone and it doesn't last forever. What you are going through is only temporary and it helps to look to the future and take your mind off of the present. Yes... there is a better day ahead.

John 14:1-3
The Way, the Truth, and the Life

1 “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. 2 In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.

Prayer: Dear God, no matter what we go through, we can have the assurance that it's only temporary. You have promised us eternal life in a special place that you have prepared for us! Just as I looked to the day I'd return home and Eric looked to the day he'd ride free again, we can look to the day when we'll live forever with You in paradise! Knowing this can get us through anything we face today. Thank you Lord for your loving kindness and for reminding us that this is not all there is. It's in Jesus name I pray. Amen

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