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Fear in the future…


I’ve heard it said that the multitude of ‘life choices’ that lie before my generation (the “Gen.-X’rs”) actually has a stifling effect on young adults. We want to keep our options open in case something goes wrong. This results in a failure to commit, and we have seen this in our culture. The average age that people get married now is 25. But, just because we are waiting longer to get married doesn’t mean that we are waiting to enjoy sex. Today teen pregnancies stats are soaring, and they say that that 63% of youth are actively having sex (stats).
Many choices out there This difficulty to commit affects me in a different way though. It comes up every time I find myself at the crossroads of life. I come upon a junction, stand there for a while, survey the road on my left, survey the one on my right, scratch my head and ponder. And unfortunately, there are usually more than just two options to choose from. I do seek the Lord about these decisions but, deep down within me lays both a fear to commit and a fear of failing if I choose the wrong thing.
This emotional, mental and cultural struggle is especially huge for me right now. January is quickly approaching. I will graduate from Bethany and where will I go? I am supposed to go on internship but the plan that we have been pursuing doesn’t seem to be panning out right now. It still has the potential too, but it’s not now! So, are their other options? Of course!!! There are tons, and it doesn’t make the decision making process any easier.

Whatever we do, we want to hold our plans loosely, always surrendered to Him.
Whatever we do, we want to hold our plans loosely, always surrendered to Him.

We could go back to Syracuse where my family is – reconnect with them and with our church and friends and prepare to go on internship within the next three years. I could stay here in MN, start business school with my GI Bill, or pursue a masters in theology or biblical leadership, or I could get a paid position with MN Teen Challenge or another ministry. I could ask to stay on campus and work here while awaiting internship. Then, if you want to further complicate things, you could evaluate the different possibilities for our nine-month overseas internship. This could really be done anywhere in the world! (head spinning yet?)
There is a point of light though in the haziness of all these decisions. It is found in Jesus’ words, “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, all these things shall be added unto you.” (Mt 6:33) I am thankful that this is the target that I aim for in the present. The Kingdom of God and His righteousness are to be lived out in my family, at my workplace, amongst my friends and even in my alone time. And the beauty of making these things the number one priority in my life is that no matter where I go, or what I do, with the Kingdom before me and His righteousness in and about me, I will have a fruitful life. And that truly is my longing!
My fear of making the wrong decision stems from this heart’s desire to be fruitful-successful, having a life that makes a difference. The problem is that what that looks like is relative from person to person and culture to culture but before God it is not relative. Success is not measured in salary or people ‘under’ you, nor in hours spent praying or money given. Rather, it is measured in the light of the cross by surrender and yieldedness – and these things, through faith.

I love that my life, yielded to Christ, will be fruitful.
I love that my life, yielded to Christ, will be fruitful.

So, what does that mean for me? It means that with my heart truly set on surrender to the almighty God, I will bear fruit no matter what I choose to do. He will be with me in whatever I put my hands to. This frees me to make mistakes, but also to live each moment being fully present – not worrying about the future but keeping my mind centered on the tasks and opportunities to serve that are set before me each day. These chances are numerous and if I, like so many in my generation, are caught up in a fear of failure, I will miss them – and with them, the Kingdom.
The Pharisees and religious people of Jesus’ day missed the Kingdom. In fact, even the disciples who walked with Jesus didn’t fully grasp it until after Jesus clothed them with power on the day of Pentecost. It is only by the power of the Holy Spirit that my family and I will be able to walk according to His ways each day, hour and minute. I am certain that if we yield to this, we will make the right ‘life choices’ too.
So do pray that God gives us wisdom to make the tough choices that lie before us. But, more importantly, please pray that His power is manifested in us so that we may know Him and the intricacies of His character more and more! And, with that… that others may come to know the Same!
John Clancy,
Rachel Clancy,
And little Aria Beth Clancy

3 Responses to “Fear in the future…”

  1. Griffhome
    October 13th, 2005 23:08

    a lamp unto my feet…

    This week is MissionFest 2005. This means that some 15-20 mission people representing different projects and works around the world are coming and going, presenting and teaching, challenging and encouraging the student/staff/community of Minneapolis.

  2. Nita
    October 14th, 2005 14:01

    Great, John! Your article gets to the core of who we are and why we are here – relationship with God and His people, and for that to be real in our lives, we must walk in a relaxed yet aggressive clinging to Him in the grace of yieldedness…in this reality, the many options lose their power to confuse and paralyze us with fear of failure, because we’re already successful in our clinging to Him. (Psa.63:8) THANK YOU for writing this…God bless you and Rachael and Aria…

  3. Steve
    October 14th, 2005 20:12

    John, I like the name of your website. It reminds me of these verses. They should help you overcome the fear.

    [Psa 25:15] Mine eyes are ever toward the Lord; for he shall pluck my feet out of the net.

    [Psa 123:2] Behold, as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters, and as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress; so our eyes wait upon the Lord our God, until that he have mercy upon us.

    [Psa 141:8] But mine eyes are unto thee, O God the Lord: in thee is my trust; leave not my soul destitute.

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