One of the problems with the future is that it does not exist. It exists only in our imaginations. The future is an empty space. We fill it with our imaginations. The future is what we think it is in our minds. When the future comes, it no longer exists. It has become the present. It is no longer empty space with images of what we think, but it is what is actually happening.
What we imagine may not become real in the present. Imagination and what materializes do not always match. But what does happen is that what we imagine about the future has a significant influence how we live in the present. What we think the future holds will pretty well determine what we do with our time today.
So, our real question about the future is, "What do we fill that empty space with?"
One thing we fill the future with is scary images. We create horror stories. What can go wrong? What can happen to hurt us? What will my children do that will be dangerous? What will happen to the economy? We can "awfulize" the future. This helps us by alerting us to dangers. We do this to protect ourselves from unpleasant surprises. The ability to imagine unpleasant eventualities keeps us on our toes.
But, to live there is to live in constant fear. To fill the empty uncertain future with thing that threaten us and scare us leads us to hide from life. Or, as Shirley Valentine said in the movie of that same name, "I've lived such a little life." Living in fear shrinks our lives.
Since the future is empty and we can fill it with our imagination, what would happen if we filled it with images of blessing and goodness? What if we leaned into that space with the courage to love and embrace what shows up in that space? What if we expected life to offer us grace rather than judgment?
Well, we can be sure to be disappointed. For when we imagine good it might not happen. But, imagining good opens the eyes to seeing it. Imaging shapes what we look for. It might contribute to the good actually materializing. To imagine life as an adventure of discovery opens us to "live large."
I don't know how tomorrow will turn out. But, I do know that the images I project into the empty space of the future can help me live with more or less fear. And I do know that love has power to, if not eliminate fear, at least put it in it's place.