Western society is transient. We ask kids question, “what do you want to be when you grow up?” A man once asked me, “what is your ambition for the future?”
Life tugs at our heart to “be” somewhere else rather than where we “are.”
In John 11, Jesus finds himself on the horns of a dilemma. Lazarus, his good friend, is sick. Everyone assumes he will rush southward to Bethany to heal his friend. Jesus remains there. (Many have decided that’s because he knew he would raise Lazarus from the dead.) There’s a simpler answer. When he was at a place, Jesus did what he could while he was there. He was not looking forward but looking now.
Paul, the apostle to the world, had global plans. He was the consummate itinerate preacher moving from place to place. He never “plowed another man’s field.” Sometimes he had “wasted time” such as a prison stint at Philippi. He was busy, and now some trumped-up charge landed him in a dark jail hands and feet in stocks with back cramping. There was work do to…somewhere. The somewhere was in that jail at that time. An earthquake shook open wooden doors and clicked open locks. No one moved with all the doors open. It was Paul’s chance to escape, but standing there in front of him was a jailer panicked with terror for the life he would lose for his failures. It was this man that was Paul’s focus.
Too many times we make plans for the future. What would you do if you had more time, more money, more talent? Instead, what can do you do today, in the place you are, with the people around you? The greatest opportunities are not “there and then” but “here and now.”