People have different views about the future. Some people believe that the future has already been written. That whatever their destiny will be, it has already been decided upon.
I personally have never taken that view. Instead I have always believed that the future is very much in our own hands. That it is the decisions that people make in the present, that decide what the future is going to be like, both for them and for the rest of us.
Why would God have entered human history as he did during the Advent season, if He had not felt that by His action many people would decide to change their lives for the better? If the future had already been written, why would Jesus have spent time in our world by His words and actions endeavouring to encourage people to make the right future choices?
There was a rich young ruler who sought out Jesus to ask him what he needed to do to gain eternal life.
He claimed that he had already kept all the Ten Commandments. Jesus told him that he had to sell all that he had and give his money to the poor and then follow Him.
Jesus realised that the ruler’s priorities lay with his money and so Jesus wanted to challenge him to rethink those priorities.
It was not a request that Jesus asked of all his would-be disciples though. The ruler felt that it was too big a sacrifice to have to make and went away – rich but disappointed.
He had been given an opportunity to lead a better life as a disciple of Jesus. It was he who had made the decision not to.
The future for him would have been very different if he had fulfilled Jesus’ request.
Rev. Ian McLachlan