“WHEN DO YOU LIVE?”

ARRIVAL IN THE DESERT

I distinctly remember the first time I got off the plan in the middle eastern desert. It was four am and supposedly the coolest time of day. Yet it was so hot and humid I struggled to breathe. As the perspiration poured down my face I asked myself the question: What planet is this! How do people survive in this climate? 

On arriving at the airport building I had to pause and thank The Lord for Willis Carrier and his invention of the AC. Having never traveled internationally before, it was fascinating for me to see people from all over the globe. Most of them very busy, hurried and focused on getting to their destination.  I was one of them, thinking to myself: We are not in Kansas anymore. 

Seeing all the different faces I tried to guess which part of the world each of them where from. Now that I have been living here, I realise that the 7 million expats living in this country literally do come from every part of the globe.

WHERE DO YOU LIVE?

In living in this uniquely global village, one of the first questions asked whenever meeting someone is: “Where are you from?”. Where a person is from is hugely significant. One cannot just live and raise a family anywhere. Factors such as crime, climate, culture and social life are all a tremendous part of our quality of life. The ‘Where?’ of where we live is a serious priority. Every person who has relocated or has contemplated relocating know this. 

Nevertheless, we cannot always control the where of where we live. We can however, control the when of when we live. By that I mean, one cannot choose the country they are born in and may not always have the resources needed to make a move. However, we can all decide if we are going to live in the past, the present or the future.

WHEN DO YOU LIVE?

♦ Live in the past.

Living in the past implies that we holding on too dearly to our history. Often referring to the ‘good old days’ believing that our best days are behind us. Clinging on to old hurts or missed opportunities only serve to rob today of it’s joys and possibilities. The past needs to kept in proper perspective. There is much to learn from previous experience, keep the valuable lessons but let go of the regret and the pain. 

For many, this is easier said than done, but God gives us the grace we need to overcome.

♦ Live in the future.

Much of the self help literature and other types of motivation deal a lot with leaving the past behind, and rightfully so. That is absolutely imperative. One cannot move into destiny whilst being preoccupied with history. 

When I was a boy, I remember looking into the mirror and wanting to be a grown up. I thought grown ups are the only ones really living and we as kids are just stuck with whatever they decide. As I grew older, I started to believe that when I get a job and earn my own money then I can live. When I finally got paid the money wasn’t enough, and so I thought one day, when I earn more, then surely, I can begin to live. In other words I was putting off living in the present in hope of living in the future somewhere down the road. 

‘What we do today, is shaping our tomorrow.” 

♦Live in the Present

“There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off” (Proverbs 23:18)

We all go through difficult times and it is not easy to be thankful and cheerful in those seasons. That is why scripture gives us ample nuggets of encouragement along the way. In Jeremiah chapter 29:11 we see the wonderful promise of God having a future hope for His people. 

What is important to note about Jeremiah 29 is that from verse 5 to verse 7, The Lord gives instructions about what they should be doing in the present. He says build, marry, increase in numbers, seek the peace and prosperity of the place you are living in, because the prosperity of babylon will have a direct impact on you. 

In other words, God was saying that He had a great future for them, but they could not live in that future now, they had to live in the present.

This is the day that The Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalm 118:24)

Much Love to all!   

Marlon                                                                                                                                      

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