Yes, the new year – 2011. Where’s my rocket pack, cars with no tires, pill for dinner? What happened to the technological advances I was tempted with in Popular Science? Why do things feel the same? I know things have changed, but what do I look for in that change that I cannot find?
Change was inevitable, even if it’s not the change I was looking for. All around me I hardly noticed it because change has been gradual, subtle, but steady. If you were to pull someone from 1985 into 2011, he would be amazed at the technological advances, changes in the economy and world governments, social surroundings, and many other things – things we probably don’t even notice. Our friend from the past would “ew” and “ah” over cell phones, automobiles, computers, the Internet, a black President, free refills, the prices of…everything, the openness of homosexual relationships, high def, the number of churches at every corner, and so much more. However, I also imagine he’d be a little disappointed to not see flying cars, people living in space, and more unity around the globe. I am sure that among the revelations of things that came, he’d be looking for the things that didn’t. And why? Simply because he was expecting something – whatever it might have been. He, just like all of us, have expectations of things to come. We all look forward, with a wishful mental grabbing at anything that gives us purpose for the days ahead; or perhaps not purpose, but just the opportunity to look beyond our present state of being. Having a bad day? Look forward to better days to come. Having financial trouble? Look forward to winning that lottery. Tired of being the little, working man? Look forward to social reform that makes us all equal. Feeling gloomy? Look forward to climate control, where you can dial in the sun every day. Go ahead, come up with any expectation that takes you away from your state of being and puts you into a better life.
No, I’m not saying that expectations are bad, or that even I couldn’t use a few more sunny days, rather, learn contentment in all things – every road you travel, each path you cross. In The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992), Kermit the Frog says, “Life is made up of meetings and partings. That is the way of it.” His lesson of accepting life as it comes and goes is a priceless revelation. So go ahead and look forward to dinner with the spouse this weekend, or time away from work, or a better world, but don’t forget to hold close each moment and live the here and now.