A life of contentment
exception, men have the capacity to scope out the future in their imaginations
before it ever arrives. We are always questioning, What if? Envisioning
the future can help us plan, can give us targets to shoot for, and can offer us
realistic hope for a better tomorrow. Isn’t it just as true that we are also at
risk of spending too much of our time imagining a brighter future rather than
living well in the present? As we play out the future in our imaginations, we often
inadvertently throw our lives out of sync with present reality.
As we have seen, the most obvious consequence in imagining the future is that it so easily leads to fear. Fear, worry, and anxiety all result from uncertainty. In the face of change and transition, we may start to worry about the unfolding of events yet to be realized, and this leads to a fear that can paralyze us as it starts to run wild in our imaginations. But most significantly, such fear can keep us from living a really good, joyful life in the present.