The quote above is from a book by the late Kim Clement. Clement was known as a prophet and a preacher. You may wonder what I am doing reading a book written by a prophet. Well, I saw a video of him a few months ago and liked his message. Yes, he made prophecies, but I wasn’t as interested in his prophecies as I was in how he became a prophet and what his beliefs were.
One of them was that prophecies were not like God’s Powerpoint presentation that was shown to certain people. They were more like light being shown to a person of what could and should be. Prophecies were God’s way of changing YOUR perspective of a problem. Once you change your perspective of a problem, then you can truly change yourself. That change will help you achieve the future you are meant to have. He says,” The future is inside each of us.”
As I was running today, my Dad’s birthday, I thought about that quote. And then I thought about him. Did he realize that the future was inside him when he defied a medical exemption to go sign up for World War II at the age of 19?
He trained to be a flight engineer among other jobs including bombadier and flew multiple missions over occupied territory, including on D-Day. He was shot down behind enemy lines and was missing in action for a time before he escaped. When the war was over, he stayed in the Air Force and made it a career. He must have known the future was inside him then.
I asked him one time if he was afraid during the War. His answer was that he felt invincible and that nothing would happen to him. Was that the bravado of a young man or a glimpse of his future? Who knows. I’m sure there were plenty of young men who felt that way who were not lucky enough to come home.
None of them knew exactly what would happen. But they knew they had to act, had to create the future for us and for themselves. God showed them the problem from a different perspective, His.
Nowadays, too many people want God’s timeline on a Powerpoint. Trust me, I know how they feel. Don’t we all want to know what will happen tomorrow, next week, next year, etc.? Things are frightening right now, maybe as frightening for us as World War II was for our parents and grandparents. It would be nice to see how it all will end. But that’s not how it works. If we sit and wait for that, we will be disappointed. I read that disappointment every day on message boards and social media sites. People depending on someone else to fix what is going on while they sit and watch.
When my Dad said he felt invincible, I’m sure he didn’t mean that God gave him a vision or a prophecy that was earthshaking in nature. What I think is that Dad had a gut feeling, an instinct, that told him things would be okay. I’ve felt that feeling before, it’s like a calm that washes over me. It’s only happened to me a couple of times in my life.
But, how is our future revealed to us? How do we know which thoughts to pay attention to? To ignore? How do we know a gut feeling is the way to go?When does that voice inside us mean something?
I think that when we get that idea, that thought, that voice, we have to use our logic AND our emotions together to make a decision. It’s not a long process because many times the decision is made in seconds. If you have ever met someone and took an instant liking to them, you know what I mean.
There are other times when we get that idea and we have to sit, listen, and process it and pray about it, hoping for direction. With me, I have to be able to envision myself doing what is suggested. Many times I have considered going somewhere, doing something, but stopped because it just didn’t seem to be a picture of my future.
Just in case you think these decisions are clear all the time, I have had many times when I knew to do something but I was stubborn. I didn’t want to do it, it was hard, or maybe I just didn’t think it mattered. In those cases, I had to have the message shown to me again and again in more extreme ways each time. For example, when I quit teaching for a few years, I had to be shown it was the right thing for me. Over and over, the message would come to me through a variety of events. Once I knew it was the right thing to do, it took me a day to write my letter of resignation and turn it in. Immediately, it felt right and it was. Without doing that, I think I would have been a totally different person as I continued my career, and not one I wanted to be. As it was, that decision led me to do many things and to eventually come back to teaching on my own terms, in a positive way.
The future was in me all along, and it still is.
So, back to where we are now. It’s one thing to make decisions about our own lives, but how do we deal with what others are doing to our world, especially when we don’t know how things will turn out?
Going back to those men and women during World War II, remember their world was being destroyed violently each day. They had no idea how things would end. All they had was faith and their choices. They needed their faith to keep moving forward. They had to know that the future of their lives and the fate of the world was inside them and depended on their actions. I’m sure they were afraid, even my Dad. But, that didn’t stop them.
Even those who lost their lives in the war had the future inside them. It was a future shaped by their sacrifices. Without their sacrifice, the world could have been a much different place. We can wonder if they would have made the same decision had they known they would die. Without knowing each one of them, we can’t be sure.
As for us, we can’t stop moving forward either. It’s easy to get discouraged and sit frozen in our homes doing nothing. I know, I felt that way a bit this week. And then, my Dad’s birthday came and I realized I couldn’t dishonor him or his generation by ignoring the importance of my choices.
So, listen to that voice. Do what you can do. Post a hashtag message, make a video, talk to a friend, write a lawmaker. Do whatever you need to so the future inside you will happen.
Happy Birthday Dad! And thanks for the ideas!