The "Someday" Complex
BY GABRIELLA FECHER
“This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it”
I don’t live in the present tense. Instead, my mind perpetually floats in this dreamy, far-off “Someday.”
I’ve been like this since I was a little kid, mapping out my list of life goals with glitter gel pens as I hid in the long grass in the fields behind our house. “Someday” felt more real to me than the music of the cicadas at sunset, the speckling of trees on the horizon, or the rhythmic sway of the grass in which I buried myself. “I’ll go there someday,” I’d say as I circled countries on a map. “I’m going to publish these someday,” I’d muse as I scribbled meaningless stories and poems into my notebooks. And, of course, I still do it. “Someday, I’ll have a house like that,” I tell a friend as we drive through Vermont roads.
Someday. I like to pretend that this “Someday” is just some version of hope that I am clinging to, but it’s not. In fact, the “Someday” perspective— if not grounded in the Word and assuredly gathered from the Holy Spirit— is simply a perspective that locks us into a survival mode. It’s a frame of mind that indirectly tells us that life is just something to push through like a defensive line in football. Honestly, the notion that we’re just meant to “make it through” is physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually exhausting.
It’s striving after a passing feeling or achievement that promises peace, joy, or fulfillment. It conjures up the idea that there is a timeline, an order, a list that must be followed. Each aspect of “Someday” is assigned some hierarchical value that drives our pursuit. We labor and toil after these distant goals only to find that we’re “striving after wind” (Ecclesiastes 2:11). It’s vanity. It’s often a mechanism to keep us focused on something — rather than Someone— to which we attribute more meaning than is right. That “Someday” item can be a trap, an idol, a distraction, an all-consuming presence that promises rewards that it never had the power to give. It sucks life, energy, and focus from today.
Instead, we need God-honoring and God-fueled hope. We’re told that we actually have a “God of hope” (identity) who wants us to “abound in hope” (action) by the work and power of His Holy Spirit (Romans 15:13). Hope is a beautiful thing— a lifeline, a breath of air, a resting place— if grounded in His Word (Psalm 119:114; 130:5). Our very soul can rest securely in hope if anchored in God alone (Psalm 62:5) and we can find it through the “encouragement of the Scriptures” (Romans 15:4). The result of this hope brings joy (Proverbs 10:28), something for which we erroneously search in achievements, statuses, opportunities, and material possessions.
The thing is: hope doesn’t take away from today like the “Someday” complex does. It recognizes that an all-powerful God holds each and every aspect of our numbered days in His hands. He breathes life and fulfilmment through His Word, His Spirit, and His nature. And life, we’re told, is a gift. “This is the day that the LORD has made,” the Psalmist wrote; “let us rejoice and be glad in it” (118:24). To be able to fully rejoice and be glad in the present day that God gave us is to surrender to His presence, finding in His capable hands the assurance that tomorrow is already taken care of. It is then that our focus and our energy is directed toward what matters. God gave us everything we need for today. Why else would He declare, “Sufficient for the day is its own trouble”(Matthew 6:34)?
Elisabeth Elliot famously wrote, “The life of faith is lived one day at a time, and it has to be lived— not always looked forward to as though ‘real’ living were around the next corner. It is today for which we are responsible. God still owns tomorrow.” We don’t have the strength, the energy, the focus, or the necessity to strive after the “Someday.” Instead, we rest in hope and rejoice in the day He gave us.
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