the long view

Starting a family encourages "the long view," I think. Looking further down the road, years ahead instead of days ahead. Planning and acting with long term goals in mind.

That becomes more important also in our spiritual lives, I'm finding. God's work with us and others is often very long term, since our turning and growth is usually very gradual. So to understand what God is doing we also need to be able to see further down the road, see God's long term goals. If we don't adjust to this way of seeing then I think we'll experience frustration after frustration. I've certainly experienced my share of that.

God's promises help with this. Also the prophetic aspects of faith. To give us some assurance that we will eventually reach God's long term goals, that we'll eventually get there, no matter how our situation looks at the moment. That can help us enter and move through some pretty dark places. Could Jesus have turned towards Jerusalem that final time without the prophetic assurance of what the outcome would be? Many of God's promises are very long term, as in end times long term. We can always cling to those. But I think a deepening intimacy with God can also offer us some long views that aren't quite so long, to give hope and direction for the more immediate future. I've found that to be an increasingly important part of my faith life.

Heather and I enjoyed a week away, in Florida with my parents. Some good surprises that I'll talk more about later. Now it's nice to be back home, but I'm also hit with the tangle of problems and suffering relationships that exist here. That's turned my eyes to the long view as well. To what will be, not because I want it or can make it happen, but because God is giving it.