Great leaders feel the future’s pull.
Most of the great leaders I have been around in my life have had the ability to conceptualize and cast vision with passion and clarity. They inspire people to pour their energies and efforts into creating a better way, solving significant problems and achieving great things. Leaders are often enamored with the future, and to a large degree, this is a must. Leaders, after all, lead people and organizations into the future, so some level of “future thinking” is a must.
While leaders feel this vision angst at the highest level, all people wrestle with the “not yet’s” of life. Everyone, whether they are conscious of it or not, is living with the goal of a better future. This is not a bad thing. In fact, it is a very human thing.
But there is an unspoken danger in all this vision/future thinking:
We live in the now.
This means that our preoccupation with what is “not yet” can cause us to miss what God is currently doing in us and through us. This coming Sunday I am beginning to preach through the book of Jonah at the church I lead. I have found it interesting in reading on this reluctant prophet, that Jonah, no matter what, always wound up exactly where God wanted him to be. Sinclair Ferguson wisely notes: “Jonah, no matter how hard he tried, could not get away from the spot on the map that God had marked: JONAH”.
Jonah’s “vision” was Tarshish. And he never made it.
The danger with living in the future is we never make it there. We are only always here. So be here. It is entirely possible to sit in a booth at a quiet restaurant with a close friend and be a million miles away. But we miss the sweetness of now. Just as it is entirely possible to serve in a certain role or hold a current position while always longing for and setting your heart on what position the future may have for you. And in the meantime, we miss what God is doing in our lives today.
Wherever on the map that God has currently marked (insert your name) is exactly where He wants you to be now.
Wherever on the map that God has currently marked (insert name) is exactly where He wants you to be now. The present. In this moment.
Your current position is ordained.
Your current level of influence is ordained.
Be present. Be faithful. Be where you are. It’s ok to think often about the future. Vision can be a beautiful thing. It inspires and energizes. We need vision and God’s vision for the future is a vision that is unmatched. A New Heavens. New Earth. All things made New. No Temple, just Immanuel. God with us. Oh yes, lets long for that future. And let that longing for the future that we know is coming, give you the peace it takes to be present right now. Leading well. Loving well.
Redeeming the time. Right where God has you.