I love writing this column!
However, it can sometimes feel as though I’m writing more out of my need to be entertaining, informative, or persuasive.

And while that’s not necessarily bad, I need to occasionally find some space to write what I feel — not just what I think or know. That opportunity comes most often in my personal journal, and today I’d like to share a page or two with you.

5/07/04 – A Desire for the Future.

Of all the places I’ve ever been, the hardest place to be is always where I am. Living in the past and living in the “someday” have always been easier than living in the moment. The days that seem to slip by the fastest are always the ones I’m living now.

Finding and remaining in the center of where I am is my most difficult task of life.

Yet, I know that my children will only be my children — now. My wife will only be my wife — now. I need to invest my urgency into the now. Why am I anxious at being in the now? Why is my urgency always about the future?

Like a kid tearing a peephole into a present, I tell myself that I only want a peek into the future. I promise myself that I’ll be content knowing what the gift contains. But I wouldn’t be content; I’d want to possess it.

There are many people in the world who have so little that they cannot afford to contemplate the future. I have shelter, money and food. That gives me a luxury half the world’s population doesn’t have. How do I use that luxury? Too often contemplating what I don’t have.

5/08/04 – A hold on the past.

Sometimes the past feels like a rip current tugging me back and forbidding my present. Yet the future can behave more like a West Coast’s sneaker wave ready to jerk me out of my present and lure me into another place. Where should I live? Past or present?

5/08/04 – The Remains of the Day.

There’s a tree in my neighbor’s yard that wants to live in my yard. It reminds me of how I seek to live across my own boundaries.

The tree stretches its branches far over the fence seeking distractions outside its boundaries. It shades my pool and sheds its leaves. But it must live in my neighbor’s yard, for it is he who waters, fertilizes, and nourishes the tree.

The past and the future are outside my boundaries and will never be something I can possess. It’s so tempting to live life seeking from the past something I lost or wishing from the future something I want — holding onto what I don’t have.

I don’t have my youth.
I don’t have my hair.
I don’t have athletic skills.
I don’t have an athletic body.
I don’t have riches.
I don’t have fame.

There’s a lot I don’t have, but there’s also some things I don’t have that make my life better.

I don’t have a terminal illness.
I don’t have an abusive relationship.
I don’t have an addiction.
I don’t have a criminal record.
I don’t have grief from the loss of a loved one.
I don’t have enemies.

End of entries.

Sharing with you a bit of my fears and feelings has felt a little risky, if not somewhat rambling.

Yet thankfully, I know that wherever I find myself – past, present or future – I will never be alone. For as scripture suggests, I am in the presence of a God who is “the same – yesterday, today and forever!”