Today and Tomorrow

Reading from two different thinkers going different directions stretches the mind. Or causes cognitive dissonance. Or something.

Eberhard Arnold writing a thought for the day advised not being burdened by the future. Live your life today.

This is ancient spiritual and mental health teaching. Living in remorse for the past–either things done or left undone–has burdened many people into living less than a full life. Yet, living in fear of the future constricts our growth.

Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, writing in his last book, Morality, points to the problem of living today ignoring the future. Andy Stanley teaching in last weekend’s Your Move noted much the same thing. One little decision made today can start a new habit, affect your children or grandchildren, or affect the environment. We do need to pause at times and reflect on the potential outcomes.

There was a time when humans thought that given enough data and a starting point they could predict the exact future hundreds of years out.

Along came chaos theory. The classic example is a butterfly beating its wings in Brazil starts an air current that eventually causes a hurricane going up the North American coast. In other words, systems are so complex that we cannot predict tomorrow. Ask any weather scientist with her bank of differential equations who missed last night’s projected snowfall by at least 6 inches (literally last night here in northeast Illinois).

It is important to live in the moment dealing with and then discarding burdens from the past or fears for tomorrow. It is also important to be aware of the potentials involved in the little decisions we make constantly.

Balance is essential to living in the spirit.

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