There is undoubtedly a period in our lives when the past becomes a memory and the future looms as a serious question mark.
We feel as though we are standing on the edge of a great abyss.
As we face this wide chasm, it seems that nothing but a miracle will help us get across the great open space and prevent us from falling into the dark recesses below.
The abyss which we face at the present time is a mental one and not a physical one.
The obstacles which we have to overcome are more mental than physical in every sense.
It is undoubtedly true that we stand on a material rock, namely planet earth, and at the present moment we have material obligations and conditions to contend with.
However the great chasm that lies between us and the future progress in our lives is not a material one that must be bridged with material things.
Many of us who feel depressed standing at the edge of the abyss in doubt and hesitancy do not have the alluring picture of the future that would encourage us to meet our problems.
We cannot see a bright and happy future and cannot see the goal of our desires waiting for us just beyond the horizon.
For this reason, we hesitate and wonder whether the effort to overcome the present obstacles is worthwhile, and whether anything in the future is worthy of supreme sacrifice at the present time.
And this is our greatest error.
We must remove from our minds doubt about the future.
We must have a glorious picture of what lies beyond in order to gain the strength to tackle our present problems and overcome them.
In the early days, pioneers first traversed the American continent in an attempt to reach the gold fields and fruitful valleys of California.
They knew nothing of the future.
Before the prosperity and during the many months of suffering, they had recreated, repainted, and rebuilt the mental pictures of what the future held.
They eased their bodies and their minds by rejecting the present and the past and living mentally in the beautiful picture of the future which their minds preserved and held before them as a rich reward for all suffering and effort.
The future became so real to them, so actual, so near, and so tangible in its every element that they were able to bridge the gap of the present and move out of the past into the future in the twinkling of an eye.
Their daydreams and their night-dreams were lived in the land beyond the horizon where everything would be what they had made it in their mental pictures.
They created homes, new estates nestled in fertile valleys or on the side of picturesque hills. They filled caskets with gold and boxes with fruit.
They were making a new world in their minds and this new world constituted their future.
As the picture was completed and all of its marvellous details finished, they drew themselves into that picture and became living, vibrating parts of it so that nothing of the present, no obstacle, no barrier, no charm could prevent them from stepping from the present into the future and realising all that they had visualised.
In the same manner must the present thousands of hesitating, doubting individuals create a new future and a new life beyond the present horizon.
We must look upon all of the sufferings and the joys of the past as mere experiences enabling us to select the good from the bad as elements to put into the new picture, the new future, and the new life.
Every experience has its lesson.
Every one of the joys and sorrows of the past and of the present are but illustrations to teach us what we should create and what we should not create for the future.
The future for each of us can be precisely what we make it.
But we must not wait until we are in the future or until we stand in the new valley of the new land, and then begin to make our plans for the estate, the home, the gardens, the orchards, the mines out of which we shall draw our wealth and our necessities.
We must visualise each detail, paint each part of the picture, and keep adding to it our dreams and meditations until it becomes a living thing in our lives not of the future but of the present.
We should look upon ourselves as standing at the very border of this picture about to step into it, and to begin to enjoy all that we have created .
If we do this, the obstacles that now seem insurmountable and which appear to rise
before us will be overlooked and negated in our ambition, our determination to step
across the borderline from the present into the future, and live in the picture we have made.
Such visualisation and creating gives us not only the allurement and fascination which is tempting but the urge and determination, the faith and the power, to go beyond the present obstacles.
There is no limitation to what the mind can create in its imagings.
No castles are too high, no homes too large, no estates too great, and no parts of the country too beautiful or too bountiful for the mind to visualise.
The world is yours when it comes to painting mental pictures of what you want and what you should have.
Furthermore, the history of civilisation proves that there is no limitation to a person’s material creation of the things he or she has visualised.
The whole history of humanity’s achievements since the beginning of the world proves that what we have mentally visualised, we can bring into actual realisation.
The dreams of men and women of yesterday that seemed vague, indefinite, and impossible are surprisingly presented to us today in concrete realities.
We awaken from our state of doubt and incredulity to realise that while we questioned and hesitated some other mastermind turned a dream into reality and the impossible things of the dreamer are the material things offered to us today.
And as we analyse the creations of humanity and our accomplishments, we are left with one great outstanding fact: namely, that one who has never dreamed or never painted a mental picture has never created a single thing in the world of realities.
Follow Your Vision
Around us are those who have accomplished and built for themselves the things they are enjoying.
Who do you want to be? The creator of your life and the builder of the things you want to enjoy, or the one who must take what is left over in the abundant lives of others?
Are you happy to accept at the hands of a master the things he has made and he no longer wants or the things he in a charitable mood is willing to share with you partially or incompletely?
Or, do you want to be the creator and make the things you want and bring them into realities in your life so that you are not dependent upon anyone or any thing except the great creative power that resides within you?
God has given you the same creative power that He possesses, and He has made you equal with Him in making this world beautiful and happy for all living creatures.
This gift is your birthright and you alone determine whether you shall use the power or ignore it.
Come, step back from your close view of the obstacles that seem to surround you.
Close your eyes to them for a while and create a new picture.
Leave the past and the present out of your consideration and make a new life, a new day, beginning with tomorrow.
Build it up part by part in your mind and in your conversations and contacts with those around you until you have a perfect picture of the future that is just beyond today’s horizon.
Then step forward bravely into this picture; and with determination start your journey along the line that leads to the new pleasures of life.
You will find yourself Master of the picture and of those realities, and you will find in it the greatest happiness and reward.
Adaptation of “Creating Your Future” by Harvey Spencer Lewis, RC Digest 1988.