I like making bold outlandish predictions for the future because the best case scenario is you seem like a genius and at worst a jokester. So here are my bold predictions for 2018.
- All currencies will be replaced with Cryptocurrencies.
- I will win the lottery and pay off my Student Loan debt this year. (Maybe 2 lotteries so I can pay it all off).
- The new Avengers movie will have a crossover from Star Wars in which the Avengers will have to take down an AT-AT walker.
- I will finally fix the one broken kitchen cabinet door in my kitchen.
Realistically only one of those things will happen, the Star Wars crossover.
The future is such a weird thing for me. I have both excitement and anxiety about the future. First I find myself daily wishing for things to be different than they are today. I currently work two jobs and always feel overwhelmed. My wife and I live in Akron Ohio and truthfully we want to be somewhere different. We moved here from Chicago and often reminisce about how great those times were. It’s nothing against Akron but truthfully there isn’t a lot to do here or around here. There is this great excitement that wells up within me when I think about what our next move will be. Will it be a pastor job, a camping ministry job, going back into Young Life or maybe even just moving to a new city and starting a new job in IT. It all seems exciting and invigorating to me.
But then there is another side, the anxiety. My mind sometimes fills with the uncertainty of it all and I replace my excitement and joy with fear and doubt. I think about what might happen if we try to move and can’t sell our house, or if we both hate our new jobs and don’t want to stay. I think about how hard it will be to move our entire lives and how expensive it will be, or about how we will know no one when we get there. The entire process overwhelms me and I usually respond by doing nothing.
I think at the core of the entire discussion about the future is the concept of fear. Fear is a complicated little bugger. Fear is biologically a good thing. Its normal for you to climb to the top of 30ft ladder and fear falling, just like its normal to fear a lion or a tiger. Fear helps keep us alive. The problem with fear is that we have gradually moved further and further away from primal fear. We no longer have to worry about wild animals killing us. I mean sometimes in some situations you will encounter a wild animal that is dangerous but for the general public most of the time animals live outside your house while you live in it. We have medicine for diseases, grocery stores for hunger and water is pumped directly into our house. As such our fears have evolved. Now we fear not having a job or enough money. We fear what others will think of us or how to accomplish the goals of our lives. When it comes to the future we fear the uncertainty of it all.
That fear moves us into a place of complacency. We are too afraid to move forward on the plans for the future so instead we keep sitting and waiting for things to change. *Spoiler Alert* Things never change on their own. I mentioned that one of my bold predictions for 2018 was to win the lottery to pay off my student loan debt. The reality of that prediction is that my student loans will only be paid off by hard work, saving money, wise spending and good investments. I am not going to win the Powerball in 2018 and use almost all of it paying off my student loans, but in 2018 I can make good spending decisions and not frivolously waste money on things. To put it another way in 2018 I can work on paying off my student loans. I can move and act toward that goal.
The same is true for all the goals in my life. Conner and I desperately want to live in a new community and pour into a ministry like we were doing in Chicago. We want to leave Akron and move to a new city and see more of God’s creation. I don’t want to be working two jobs and struggling to find time to pursue my goals. So in 2018 I am going to act, work and move on those goals. I am going to fight the fear that moves me into complacency.
I wish I had the answer to fear. I don’t. My roommate in seminary, Justin, was a little wise beyond his years. He was also a little brash but is easily my best friend. One day in seminary I was struggling to pick between two options. I listed out the pro’s and con’s for him and poured him a scotch. (If you ever want Justin to give you incredible advice, pour him a scotch.) I can’t remember the specifics of the choice but I remember him saying “Any decision based on fear is the wrong one.”
I love black and white answers and Justin’s answer was perfect. I started living by that motto to the best of my ability from that day. Because of that little motto I sold everything I had and moved to Ohio for a summer to be near my wife, who was my girlfriend at the time. That summer is what cemented our relationship.
My new bold prediction for 2018 is that I am not going to let fear win and stop me from working on my goals.