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1. WHY WE WROTE THIS BOOK FOR YOU
Do you ever think much about your past? The past includes all of your little-kid years, but it also includes last week. Basically, the past is whatever stuff is in your memory.
Or maybe you're a person who likes to focus on the present-this moment right now when you're reading these words.
But how much thought do you give to the future? Hmm ...?
What's past is already gone. There's no changing that around. But the FUTURE is full of possibilities.
WHAT IF ...? I WONDER ...? COULD I ...?
Some of it seems amazing and exciting. Some of it can feel uncertain and even worrisome. And you get to choose!
When you were younger, you probably didn't think about the future much. You woke up in the morning, played with some toys, cried 'til someone gave you some food, watched some Jimmy Neutron, then played some more-you get the picture. "The future" didn't mean much to you. You didn't really care what day or time it was, and you certainly didn't think about what would happen that day-you just took things as they came.
But now-in your middle school years-the future is taking on a whole new meaning. And even though it can feel scary sometimes-it can also be thrilling, especially if you're ready for it.
We (Marko and Scott) love helping middle school students think about-and get ready for-their futures. Some people look at middle schoolers and think, Those punks have so much growing up to do. Why bother talking to them about the future now? But we know there are lots of things bouncing around in middle schoolers' brains. Some of them are about the "near future"-things you'll experience in the next few years (or even weeks and months). Some are about things in the "way-out-there future"-things you won't have to deal with for many years. But the thoughts you're having now will direct your future.
What you've just read is already in the past, so let's dive right into (drum roll, please) your future!
2. WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS ABOUT THE FUTURE
Let's start with a handful of Bible verses about the future:
When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider: God has made the one as well as the other. Therefore, you cannot discover anything about your future. (Ecclesiastes 7:14)
Since no one knows the future, who can say what is to come? (Ecclesiastes 8:7)
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." (Jeremiah 29:11)
Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? (Matthew 6:27)
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39)
Wow! We can learn some fantastic things in those verses right there, stuff about how we should approach thinking about the future. These Scriptures are pretty much saying, "Don't worry about the future: God has great plans for you, and God will be with you. The future can't separate you from God!"
Seriously, that's some good stuff. Maybe you don't need to read the rest of this book.
Excerpted from My Future by Mark Oestreicher Scott Rubin
Copyright © 2008 by Mark Oestreicher and Scott Rubin. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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