Although well used to ghostly company by this time, Scrooge feared the silent shape so much that his legs trembled beneath him, and he found that he could hardly stand when he prepared to follow it. The Spirit pauses a moment, as observing his condition, and giving him time to recover.
But Scrooge was all the worse for this. It thrilled him with a vague uncertain horror, to know that behind the dusky shroud there were ghostly eyes intently fixed upon him, while he, though he stretched his own to the utmost, could see nothing but a spectral hand and one great heap of black.
“Ghost of the Future!” he exclaimed, “I fear you more than any spectre I have seen. But as I know your purpose is to do me good, and as I hope to live to be another man from what I was, I am prepared to bear you company, and do it with a thankful heart. Will you not speak to me?”
It gave him no reply. The hand was pointed straight before them.
“Lead on,” said Scrooge. “Lead on. The night is waning fast, and it is precious time to me, I know. Lead on, Spirit.” excerpt from A Christmas Carol: Stave Four by Charles Dickens
Like Scrooge, what is it about the future that we so fear?
As a society our entire focus on the future has become one of doom and destruction. The fiscal cliff is pending – Economic collapse is upon us! And as chicken little once put it, “the sky is falling!” – Aliens are coming from Mars!
No wonder we fear the future. And like Scrooge, we so want the future to speak to us and yet it remains silent and so our fear grows.
But what if we could get past our fears (like Scrooge) and declare: I know your purpose is to do me good, and as I hope to live to be another man from what I was, I am prepared to bear you company, and do it with a thankful heart.
Perhaps we could, if like Scrooge, we lived on the pages of fiction. But wait, I hear another voice from the past speaking …
Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:25-34 NIV
Jesus Christ, the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, the past and the future, has spoken! Stop worrying and live as God intended you to live:
A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.
John 13:34-35 NIV
Should Sunday come … I’ll see you at church … until then …. love one another