Want self-encouragement and motivation? Send an email to your future self.

Perhaps we haven't quite mastered time travel like Doc and Marty, but we can send emails into the future (courtesy of sean022.blogspot.com)
Perhaps we haven’t quite mastered time travel like Doc and Marty, but we can send emails into the future (courtesy of sean022.blogspot.com)

And David was greatly distressed ; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved , every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God. – 1 Samuel 30:6 (KJV)

Rikki don’t lose that number; You don’t wanna call nobody else.  Send it off in a letter to yourself. – Lyrics to “Rikki Don’t Lose that Number” by Steely Dan

As you start the New Year, you’ve likely had the chance to take some time off from work, spend time with family, relax, and generally mentally detox.  You may have set formal goals for the New Year, but if not, at the very least you have dreams and aspirations you’d like to see come to pass.   In many ways, this may be the most clear thinking and enthusiastic that you’ll be all year, rivaled only by the week leading up to your vacation.  But what happens?  It’s called life, what John Lennon described as “what happens while you are busy making other plans.”  The daily grind of living occurs and the plans we had to have more consistent devotions, get in shape, become more organized all become casualties to life.  By February we look at our lack of progress, become discouraged and give up.

But what if your January 1st self, your lucid, optimistic and faith-filled self, could reach out to your February 1st self?  Now you can.  In reading Jon Acuff’s book, Quitter: Closing the Gap Between Your Day Job & Your Dream Job, he referenced using a website called futureme.org to send an email to himself that would be delivered at a date of his choosing in the future. Acuff used the email to remind his future self to avoid a situation his current self was dealing with. I became fascinated with the idea of sending my future self emails and decided to check out futureme.org (the service is free, but the site does accept donations.)  The applications for such emails are only limited by one’s imagination.  I could, as Acuff had done, send a warning to my future self.  I could also send an email to my future self from a time when a great spiritual victory or answer to a deep seated prayer was still fresh.  This email of present victories might equip me for future battles.  But as I penned these words on January 1st, I thought it would be good remind and encourage myself about the goals I set for 2013 and that “God had not given me a spirit of fear, but of love, power and self-discipline” (2 Tim 1:7).  So I used futureme.org to send an email to myself to be delivered on February 1st.  I have no way of knowing what I’ll be facing on February 1st, but whatever it is; encouragement can never be in short supply.

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