This morning I find my heart a bit heavy. I’m thinking of those who look out into their future and see nothing but a bleak emptiness of sorts. Those who feel cast aside and are replaying the events of life with regret. Listening to the “I wish I had” statements are sobering in light of the “what is” and finding the right words sometimes does not come easily.
One of the most devastating behaviors in life is that of procrastination. It’s not a necessity at the moment so, I’ll just wait until it is. That sort of thinking leaves individuals listlessly scrambling for answers at a time when mentally, emotionally and physically the capacity is absent. What you do today defines your future tomorrow. If you think or expect that your circumstances are going to change and are basing your future on a hope that may or may not exist then you are not living in reality. Do not hear my words as scolding but as an encouragement to consider the road ahead. What can you do today to make your existence better in the future? I know there are people who frantically start grabbing and clinging and joining as a means of survival but I’m trying to avert that by encourage a thought process of responsibility, even before the season arrives.
Being deliberate and setting aside time to think about what you can do, practically, is beneficial. Resources are vast and often more accessible than many can comprehend. Dependency on family and friends is usually the thought process but we have to remember that everyone has responsibilities in life and that ultimately we, as adults, must take the lead in our own future. If family and friends are available and willing to assist, that is a significant blessing but cannot be our ultimate expectation. Are there certain people and places called to assist those in need? Without a doubt, this is a factual statement, there are people particularly gifted to do so. However, it is important to begin to explore these options for safe, loving community and services even before the need arises. Relating is best established through a seasonal duration, it provides a viable opportunity to establish trust. Scrambling inevitably leads to unwanted vulnerabilities and if that scenario can be avoided upfront through meaningful, relational inquiries, why not? We never know what a day brings and even in the most bleak circumstances, hope can shine through, but there can be no inevitable expectation of such. No matter your age, look at your life in reality. Think about the future and consider what it is, at the present moment, that you can feasibly do about your quality of life, for the duration of your life.
Is it beginning to save money? Even the slightest savings can begin to add up. Is it building meaningful and real community? Our emotional, mental and physical health depend upon those interactions. Is it valuing your body? What we do with our physicality will be an additive or a detriment to our existence, especially in later life. All of these thoughts are worth consideration. We are mind, body and spirit and every component needs to be assessed at intervals along the pathway of life.
If you have fallen behind in the responsibility factor, don’t be disheartened to the point of giving up, start where you are. Explore your community with intention, not to exploit or pillage but to determine who it is that has the heart that aligns with your need both for today and for the future. That is the approach that gives way to the most responsible and satisfying relational existence.