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Trusting God for Today in an Uncertain Time

Daniel Craig is James Bond. At least, that's how the world sees him. With his fourth Bond movie opening next month, Craig is making the publicity rounds. Surprisingly, he told one interviewer, "I'd rather break this glass and slash my wrists" than do another Bond film.


By contrast, when Tom Hanks was recently asked how he knows a film is working, he replied: "The only thing we know is, Hey, that was fun" (his emphasis). So an actor who starred in such gut-wrenching movies as Saving Private Ryan and Philadelphia measures success by fun, while an actor who plays jet-setting James Bond hates the role. 


In more surprising news, an economic forecaster says skyscrapers can predict financial calamity. He's responding to the Sales Force Tower in San Francisco. It will be the tallest building west of the Mississippi and is being constructed at a time when observers are worried about a tech industry bubble. 


The "skyscraper theory of bubbles" connects tall buildings with economic overconfidence and the calamity it can produce. Consider 40 Wall Street (built in 1929), the Chrysler Building (1930), and the Empire State Building (1931), all coinciding with the Great Depression. The World Trade Center (1973-73) and Sears Tower (1974) coincided with the global economic crisis of 1973-75. The Burj Khalifa began construction in 2007, the year the Great Recession began. China is working on Sky City, expected to be the new tallest building in the world, while their financial downturn threatens the global economy.


Continuing our forecasting theme: as baseball's playoffs begin this week, prognosticators expect the World Series to pit Toronto against St. Louis. But odds makers are not always right. In 2006, the St. Louis Cardinals won only 83 games during the regular season, but won the World Series. The 1990 Oakland A's were heavily favored to repeat as world champions, but were swept by the Reds.


Gallup predicted a Romney victory in 2012. Now the organization has announced that it will not conduct polls during the presidential primary process this year. As economist Edgar Fiedler noted, "He who lives by the crystal ball soon learns to eat ground glass."


While our culture is fixated on the future (what will happen with the elections? the Islamic State? Syria? the global economy?), God lives in the present. He knows that "yesterday" and "tomorrow" are words, not realities. How much does "yesterday" weigh? What color is "tomorrow"?


God cannot help us with what doesn't exist. You would not ask him to defend you from Martians. In the same way, seek his wisdom for necessary decisions about the future, but focus on the present. As a wise counselor once advised, stay faithful to the last word you heard from God and open to the next.


No one in the Bible received a five-year plan. When Joseph was in Potiphar's prison, he didn't know he would soon be in Pharaoh's palace and that he would save his family and the Hebrew nation. When Paul was converted on the Damascus Road, he didn't know he would write half the New Testament. When John was exiled on Patmos, he didn't know he would receive the Revelation.


Albert Einstein testified, "I never think of the future; it comes soon enough." Resist society's obsession with the future, and focus on present-tense obedience. All of God there is, is in this moment.



Publication date: October 9, 2015


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