Guess who is predicting the future? Everybody is, including you. Not a day goes by that people don’t guess or predict something. Perhaps sports predictions are the most common.
You hear people talk about upcoming football games as if they can see into the future. Now of course, they base their prognostication on the facts that they know. Based on those facts, they predict a team’s victory. And, depending on how knowledgeable they are of the facts, many times they are right. But what happens when there is an upset? What happens to their big prediction?
Predicting what is going to happen based on known facts is certainly not limited to football games. “What time will dinner be ready?” “Everything should be ready by 6:30.” Another prediction, based on information, and perhaps experience.
How about weather predictions? Now that Fall is here, temperatures are dropping, even here in Arizona. We have gone from triple digits in the daytime to very pleasant upper 80’s. But in other parts of the country, they know that freezing temperatures are just around the corner.
Here in the Phoenix area our overnight low for this Saturday is predicted to be 65, while in Minneapolis the overnight low for this Saturday is predicted to be 25. Having lived in Minneapolis I know that when temperatures fall below freezing there are things that can happen. Plants can freeze and die. Garden hoses can break. Water pipes can break.
Now here is what I find very interesting. Let’s suppose that the weather man’s prediction of below freezing temperatures for Minneapolis is correct. For the sake of argument, and to help me make my point, let’s just call that a fact; it is going to freeze Saturday night.
How many people living there in Minneapolis do you think would respond to that information by saying, “Well, it is going to freeze on Saturday, so my garden hose is going to break and so are my water pipes?” Anyone who has lived there for any time at all knows that you prepare for the cold weather. Garden hoses are emptied and put away. Water pipes are insulated. Storm windows are in good working order.
Actually, the cold temperatures predicted for this Saturday are quite a bit below normal. Normal overnight lows for this time of year are around 42. This is an early cold front.
When you hear a forecast that you think is reliable, even if it’s not what you wanted or expected, you still do the things that are necessary. You don’t just leave the garden hose in the yard and hope for the best. You wouldn’t pray and ask God to make the cold go away, or ask Him to protect your garden hose, would you?
How about the current economic news that we hear? We can choose to believe that everything is going to be fine and go our merry way. Now, I am all in favor of not dwelling on negatives, and being positive, and trusting God. But I also don’t want to just leave my garden hose out.
So much of the current news breeds more fear into people’s lives and they end up predicting their own future. Their attitude is “If “A” occurs, then “B” will happen to me.” For example, “Because there are more layoffs, I will probably get laid off too. Then, because I lost my job, I will end up losing my house. Then, because I lost my house…”
Yes, there are some pretty negative things going on and we are by no means out of the woods. But, does that mean that we should predict a negative outcome for our lives? Even if it seems that all the facts are lined up against us, why not anticipate an upset? (We do when rooting for our favorite football team!)
We do the best that we can do right now. We bring our garden hose in. We check our water pipes and storm windows. And, we refuse to predict disaster for our lives. Above all, we pray and ask God for solutions.
I started this article by saying that everyone is predicting the future in all sorts of ways. The big question is, what are you predicting for your own life? What mode of thinking are you in: Expecting the best, or expecting the worst?
Knowing the facts is not being negative. Pretending the facts don’t really exist doesn’t stop your garden hose from breaking. The best course of action when you know of some negative facts is to refuse to predict a negative outcome for you. Instead, actively pursue and expect the best solution and results for your life.
Maybe it’s time to empty the water out of your garden hose.