If you watched President Obama’s State of the Union address you may have noticed that he used the phrase “win the future” several times. In fact, this phrase provided the framework for his entire speech. I’m not a presidential historian, though I did squeak out a major in History in undergrad. I am, however, someone who’s critical of speeches and speakers, which I’ve discovered is rather common for those who speak on a regular basis. I found the President’s speech relatively easy to follow because his use of this phrase signaled his transitions.
President Obama cited Bobby Kennedy as being the inspiration of this phrase. Kennedy once said, “The future is not a gift; it is an achievement.” I heard it, and I liked it. At this point I leave politics behind because I do not consider myself a political savant (even if I was a registered Political Science major at the University of Tennessee, which I ended up not attending). In the political world, Kennedy’s statement seems mostly right. Any country will have to work for its preferred future–nothing will be done for or gifted to that country. But as I sat and listened to the rest of the speech, I couldn’t help but be grateful that the gospel of Christ is not like that, not exactly anyways.
The apostle Paul in particular writes about the paradox between working out one’s salvation while God works out His own purpose in our lives. Paul speaks of the fact that those who are called are predestined to be conformed to the image of Jesus as well. These are glorious, yet profoundly humbling truths. I pray for our President. But I don’t put my hope in government. I would encourage you to do as President Obama said. Win the future as much as you have authority to do so. Work hard. Study hard. Love freely (but not in a 60’s kind of way). Win the future, but remember that the future has also already been won. 1 Corinthians 15.57-58 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 58 Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.
I’m curious, does the phrase “win the future” inspire you? If you’re up for it, let us know what you’re inspired to do…