For as long as I can remember, I’ve been fascinated with history. My summers as a kid consisted of borrowing dozens of biographies and historical fiction books from the library. As I entered my teenage years, you don’t want to know how many hours I spent researching historical figures on the Internet. Even now, I can’t resist watching a good historical documentary.
With this love for history came a romanticization of certain eras. In my teenage years, I would have given anything to travel back in time and never return to the present. Eventually, these rose-colored glasses fell off, and I realized that some of these eras weren’t so “beautiful” after all.
The beauty of the Georgian era with the elaborate palaces, clothing, and music… accompanied by the bloody mess of the French Revolution.
The romance of the Victorian and Edwardian eras, along with the dresses, culture, and major events… only to hide the domestic abuse, alcoholism, prostitution, disease, and child labor that is seldom associated with such a time.
As with countless other eras that I won’t mention, I began to develop a true appreciation for the time and place that I was born. There will always be issues within every society, but compared to the past, I can’t complain.
However, I discovered that in recent years, I’ve developed the opposite problem: I’m always looking to the future too much.
Only a few months ago I graduated from college, and I can’t tell you how long I had waited for that. Now that college is done and I’ve been in the workforce, I can’t help but think of what I need to do next (more-reliable car, get an apartment, etc.). And of course, daydreaming about the things that come after all that, like visiting other countries, getting married, having kids, going on some really cool vacations, opening an alpaca ranch…
Except for the alpaca ranch, thoughts of the future swarm my head. I’m always thinking about that “next step” I need to take, anticipating the wonderful things in the future that I desire.
I had to realize that as much as I may look forward to the future, God has strategically placed me where I currently am. And you as well.
God created and planned every little detail about us, knowing the exact number of hairs on our head (Luke 12:7, Psalm 139). If God intricately designed us, then how much more can He place us when and where He desires for us to be throughout the history of the world?
Being an omnipotent Creator, He has a purpose for our lives. We were born in the exact time and place that He planned before the world was created. He knows our life’s story, and He knows the victories and challenges we’ll encounter. He knows the people we will meet, and the people who will hear the Gospel because of His perfect placement of us.
God has specifically placed us when and where we are, and we can use that to bring Him glory.
If it’s God’s will, we will reach those future events one day. Although it may not be according to our timing and plans, having a perfect heavenly Father ought to bring us comfort in knowing that He knows our story. He knows when we will reach those next milestones in our lives, but in the meantime, He’s given us work to do (Ephesians 2:10).
This doesn’t mean that we act foolishly and stop planning for the future; rather, we must not become so future-oriented that we lose focus of the present.
What has God called you to in the present? To go to college? To be an employee that works as if working for God, not man? To focus on become a godly woman, which will one day have a positive impact on your future marriage? To be a friend to those who may not have one? To serve those in our communities? To share the Gospel with the people we encounter, whether locally or internationally?
Whatever your calling may be, God has placed you precisely where He desires for you to be. Although we can anticipate the things of the future, there is so much in the present that we can cherish as a gift from God.
And who knows, maybe someday one of us will open an alpaca ranch. In the meantime, God has a reason for us being here at this moment. Whether or not we’ll ever know what it is, we can have peace in knowing that our faith and trust is in Him.