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Future Me

     Regardless of how old I get, I never experience the sensation of “having arrived”. I don’t ever feel like the best is behind me.  Life to me is a constant uphill journey, challenging sometimes grueling but exciting nonetheless.  I always feel like I am constantly on the doorstep of what’s to come, waiting outside, hoping to be let in. Life is funny that way, it happens no matter what. You have no choice but go full speed into the future and only hope it will be an upward progression of better and better experiences as life goes on, but that is not always the case. You often stop and wonder if you should keep trying to reach your illusive goals or change them to something more attainable. In my case it was music. I, like many dreamed of a thriving music career complete with national and international recognition and success. I moved to “Music City” with a sense of entitlement. I felt that I had been given talent, therefore I was owed success. I learned over the next 12 years that this equation fails more often than it delivers and I spent much time in the company of many discouraged and talented people who live in constant regret and un-fulfillment over hope deferred and dreams not come true. Regardless of the success I have achieved, it never seems to be enough; there is always a sense that there should be something more.

     So, what’s to become of us? All of us…age catches us by surprise and we’re soon scared of growing up too fast and leaving our youth behind with all its dreams, goals and ideals. Do we live out the rest of our days tolerating an incomplete feeling inside and hope to deaden the sting by filling life with distractions? Is there some type of therapy that can brainwash us into believing that it’s not all that bad, getting old is great, or perhaps our children can become what we couldn’t? That seems hollow to me. There must be something missing.

     I know that life has its ups and downs and in my case I’ve had some very high ups and some very low downs. I am very fortunate; I have a gorgeous wife who most people agree is the nicest person in the world. I have a great job, ministry, church, and family. I can count my blessings all day long yet still feel that the sum of all these things does not bring contentment, no less; joy and peace of mind. There is something deeper that cannot be fulfilled. I believe it has something to do with discovering the very reason I was created and succeeding in that above all things. I have found that when I am fervent in my relationship with God, I somehow I get an overwhelming satiating sense that I am succeeding at the very thing I was created for. However, when I let my selfish aspirations take preeminence, that sense of satisfaction disappears as if someone let the air out of my tires and life becomes empty and joyless.

     I often thought it would be great to have a time machine that would allow me to go into some future date and find the “future me” and ask him for advice. It sounds nice in theory but I think if I really did have a time machine, I would be so consumed with the fact that I had a real time machine, I could probably care less about whatever the “future me”, or anyone else had to say about anything! I’d fly through time and history and travel around like Marty McFly or “Bill and Ted”.

     But let’s suppose I DID care and did find my “future me”, what would the “present me” say and how would the “future me” respond? Seriously, would he tell me to completely change my ways, would he give me the next dozen years of sports scores and lottery numbers? Would future me try to completely avoid the now me so as to not alter the normal course of our life? I don’t think so. I think he would help me focus on what’s important and tell me that life goes by quickly and you better start enjoying it now while you still have a little youth left in ya. OK, perhaps he’d request that I’d eat less junk food and maybe ask if I’d brush my teeth and floss a little more regularly, but for the most part, I can imagine him saying something like “Cherish your loved ones, and stay close to God”. I would think that after all the teaching I have absorbed in my life, all of the sermons I’ve endured, all the inspirations I have received through Scripture and above all; being present every day in the schoolhouse of life, I would someday boil it down to one or two things, the way Jesus did in Matt. 22.

                        

 

   Jesus made it clear that the ‘whole of life’ or the ‘whole of the law’ could be summed up in a simple phrase. “Love God with all you’ve got and love your neighbor as yourself.” (paraphrased). Nobody says it better than Jesus, but for the sake of rhyme and meter in the song and consistency to my story I have “Future Me” simply say; “cherish your loved ones and stay close to God”. I’m sure theologians can argue about it all day long but it’s basically the same sentiment.

    This song is a story of something yet to be, of somebody I am but have yet to become…check it out.

F U T U R E   M E

The strangest thing happened to me yesterday

I was walking alone down on lower Broadway

When a stranger approached me mysteriously

A man in his 50’s who looked just like me

 

He said somehow I got here from two-thousand twelve

When you look at me you’re looking right at yourself

I don’t know why I’m here or for how long I’ll be

But there’s things I must tell you so listen to me

 

(so I said) OH, speak to me future me

Tell me the things that I’m longing to know

How will my life go?

Oh, talk to me Future me; you see the things that I’m longing to see

How will my life be?

Then he said we both know that this whole thing is strange

I can’t say too much or our whole life will change

But I will tell you two things you may think are odd,

“Cherish your loved ones and stay close to God”.

 I said “I cherish my loved ones I'm close to God too”

“But there's so much more I want to know about you”

But before I could get him to say anymore

He vanished and I was alone like before.

 

I noticed a young boy in front of the stage

He looked just like I did when I was his age

And before I could tell him the things I was told

He asked me how his life would be when he’s old

 

So he said “Oh, speak to me future me tell me the things that I’m longing to know"

How will my life go?

I said "please listen to me, former me, cherish your love ones, stay close to God too,

And Love will come to you.


     I played this song once for Larry Norman, and he cried as he listened. I really did not know why at first. He is a legendary pioneer of Christian music whom I’ve always respected immensely but didn’t know too well. He had come to visit me in my office when I was working at Capitol Records and asked me if I had any songs I’d like to share with him. I sang him every song on my album, just sitting on my desk with my acoustic guitar and when I got to “Future Me” he was crying at the end of it. He asked me to play it again, so I did. He asked me to play it a third time and when I was done, he told me he was deeply affected by the lyrics and wanted to record it on one of his albums someday. I was thrilled, flattered and surprised. He died in 2008 before he could record the song, but it sure encouraged me that he liked it so much. I’m learning to cherish these “little gifts” that God gives us along the way. They are probably more prevalent than we know and I’m certain that He truly does want us to be content, happy and joyful regardless of circumstance, with the one caveat being that we have to delight ” In Him alone.

Psalm 37:4 Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart. Not Things, Not People, Not Careers, not even dreams that come true…delight yourself IN THE LORD and he’ll give you, not the ‘object of your desires’,  but the desires themselves… and then he’ll fulfill them abundantly.


Photos & graphics by SR

Written By: Raphael Giglio, a recording artist and worship leader. He and his wife Aly are native New Jerseyans. Raphael has a strong heart for Israel and his fellow Jewish people and continues to record and tour internationally. Experience his music by visiting:www.raphaelmusic.com
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