Written by Conor Sweetman of Toronto, ON

You hear it in passing conversations in snippets on the street. You hear it every time your grandparents hug you after a long time spent apart. You hear it from your parents as they tearfully admire your graduation picture. “Where has the time gone?” – sighed wistfully with a sad smile.

During the seemingly eternal years of high school and university, the days seem to stretch out before us like they’ve been steamrolled into an unending pathway into the distance. We often wonder how we’ll make it through the drudgery of daily classes or long shifts at work slinging coffee.

The glorified, romanticized future of graduation, full-time work and raising a family holds so much appeal and intrigue. It seems just out of our reach, tempting us like a carrot hanging tantalizingly by a string in front of us. The perfect future never seems to come.

As life moves along and your baby teeth are lost, your car is purchased and your 9-to-5 job is secured, time turns into a tornado of milestones and mundanity. Instead of eagerly awaiting the acceptance letters from university, you’ll be looking back fondly on the coffee-fueled all-night study sessions with your friends.

Instead of neglecting the joy, trials and work of today for the sake of an imagined future, look for God in your current context.

Keep an eye on the far horizon with hope, knowing that God will use you for His glory – but throw yourself into the ticking time of today.

As Paul the Apostle so directly states, “Now listen, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.’ Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, ‘If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that’” (James 4:14-15).

Having bright hopes for the future is a beautiful thing, but when we get tangled by the ropes of disappointment and trip on our own expectations, we have grasped at our destiny with our utterly incapable hands and told God to sit on the sidelines as we take control of the game.

Expectations of a bright future blind you as the far off “tomorrow” becomes an all too in-your-face “today.” Time moves forward with no apology, so quicken your hands for action, take part in the kingdom and make the most of your immediate circumstances for your betterment and God’s glory.