In HOPE 7.1                                  back to home                        David Timms

Welcome to 2007

The year began 25 days old, so it seems a little late to be saying "Welcome to 2007." But this is the first issue of "In HOPE" for this year - and the 7th year of producing this resource. While I look forward to what lies ahead, I'm especially grateful to be able to share with you today. Thanks, as always, for your generosity in receiving these reflections.

Hope Happenings

Our Graduate Ministry program recently hosted over 50 students for intensive coursework during the first two weeks of January. Our traditional under-graduate program - Pacific Christian College - began its Spring semester yesterday. This semester we also welcome about 80 Korean students on campus to study English. So, we're up and running!

Hope International University
Fullerton  CA  92831

"Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans."   -- John Lennon (1940-1980)

Big Plans

We plan to live and live to plan and, in the process, life passes us by.

At some point, many or most of us bought into a prominent cultural view that we need goals and plans to be happy. We've all heard it - "If we fail to plan, we plan to fail." And who wants to fail?

Consequently, we are trained to plan, taught to strategize, and primed to cast vision. We need goals in every area of life -- spiritual goals, educational goals, numeric goals, parenting goals, financial goals, and more. And when (or if) we achieve those goals, we barely stop to acknowledge it because we're already aiming higher or further.

Goals stretch out endlessly before us like the horizon. Our journey becomes so preoccupied with this elusive and ever-changing future that we often fail to experience the Present to the full.

We grow so focused on the Not Yet that we can't see the Now. But Now is the moment of God's Presence. Now is His real gift to us. Now is all we have to hold with any certainty.

Our relentless grasp for tomorrow becomes tomorrow's grip on us. The prospect of a new day and a better way distracts us too often from the reality of "God with us" right now.

Living with Christ in the Now delivers us from the guilt of the past and the fear of the future. Jesus declared to His disciples: "I am with you always, even to the end of the age" (Matthew 28.20). We would likely say "I will be with you always ..." but Christ casts it in the present tense. Why? Because, to live for one day from now, one week from now, or one year from now is not to live life to the full right now.

Our preoccupation with "the will of God" whereby we grow anxious to do what God "has planned for us" may harm us more than help us. Perhaps we will find deepest satisfaction not in second-guessing the future but living fully in this moment, this day. As we live in His Presence we live in His will.

Is it wrong to make plans? Of course not. The entire biblical story details the grand plan of God to redeem each of us. But when the future undermines our capacity to live fully with Him in the Present, we will enter eternal restlessness rather than rest.

May 2007 become a year of living more richly with Him moment-by-moment. What's He saying to you Now?




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David Timms serves in the Graduate Ministry Department at Hope International University in Fullerton, California. "In HOPE", however, is not an official publication of the University and the views expressed are not necessarily those of the Administrators or Board of the institution. "In HOPE" has been a regular e-publication since January, 2001.