The Future Belongs to….say what? Come again?

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”

I first came across this phrase when I rented a cute little cottage to finish a book. It was on a magnet on the fridge. I studied it warily, not quite understanding why I didn’t like it. Because it seemed I should. I felt obligated to like it.

I came across it once more the other day, when I turned my calendar forward. It was the new inspirational phrase for March. “You again,” I muttered, irked with myself for not understanding why I disliked it. I went on my merry, and thought no more of it until the other day when I read a verse that shot me from my seat and made me bellow, “THAT’S why!”, startling everyone in the room. They are used to me, however, and paid no mind as I grabbed a black Sharpie and ran to the calendar. This is what I wrote: “No it doesn’t! It belongs to those who work hard and get beat up to pursue it! Faith without works is dead!!”

Here’s exactly why I don’t like it: When I reach for substance in that sentiment, my fingers fall through smoke. A vapid vagary does not contain siftable material worthy of inspection. I’d call it damned nonsense if I hadn’t already used it in an earlier piece, and if it didn’t lessen impact to swear twice in consecutive essays.

The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams? Believing is and never will be enough. Ask any demon. “You say you believe in God. The demons also believe, and tremble.” Back up from that verse, James 2:19, and you’ll find “I’ll show you my faith by my works.” I’ll show you what I believe by what I do. The only future I have is in the action I take.

The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams…it’s silly enough to keep repeating, for the sheer revolting glory of it. “I am repulsed, yet I cannot look away.” (Niles said that, in a Frasier episode.) Sometimes you have to look at something long enough to understand what it really is. To my surprise, I find that some things are nothing at all.

The future belongs…okay, I’ll torment you no more and end with an updated version of this silly little sentiment: The future belongs to those who keep moving when fired upon.