We’re always being told to live in the present, aren’t we? All this “yesterday is dead and gone; tomorrow’s out of sight” stuff. Normally couched in religious language, and yet I wonder.
Strikes me that Jesus, at least, calls us to live in – not so much the future – definitely not the moment – more the eternal. Guess that’s why giving all your money to the poor is one of his recipes for true happiness, as making today temporarily easier is achieved by spending money, not giving it to other people.
Guess the thing that worries me about a really apocalyptic outlook on life, on the other hand, is that it’s the football fan approach to life. Season gone badly? Failed to get in the the top 4? Still not promoted? Fans deserting in droves while the Board are on the manager’s back? Never mind – there’s always next season. And the minute somebody thinks that – you know the current season is already over. This sort of apocalyptic is much the same – world going to hell in a hand cart? Has the current physical world turned out to be a giant mistake? Never mind. It’s all gonna be ripped up, promotion and – ahem – relegation will be decided. And next season is gonna be great.
But then I can read something like Ps 92.7:
“When the ungodly are green as the grass, and when all the workers of wickedness do flourish :
then shall they be destroyed for ever; but thou, Lord, art the most Highest for evermore.”
Bit rough on the workers of wickedness, sure. And it sounds a bit like “always next season” apocalyptic. But this isn’t for middle-class, privileged apocalyptics. It’s for those who are directly suffering from the workers of wickedness – for those who are having the wickedness worked on them.
And it says that these problems are all temporary – that though there’s trouble, the ones causing it will pass. And underneath it all, there’s one who truly is forever- from the beginning, right through today, and on to the end.
The only ones who can truly just live in today are the privileged. The ones for whom today really is the blessing they say it is. For everybody else, there’s muddling through today, trying to make it better for tomorrow – and clinging on to the rock that will carry us safe through to eternity.