Once again the Opinion Polls have proved inaccurate but should we be surprised? Opinion Polls are an attempt to calculate how people will react at a future occasion. By contrast an Exit Poll is a snap-shot of an event that has already happened and therefore always more likely to be accurate.
Opinion Polls are just one of a number of ways in which we try to second guess the future whether that be weather forecasting, reading about our star sign or visiting a fortune-teller. However good or poor the science behind such attempts, they are all part of our attempt to start managing tomorrow before it happens.
How ever worthy the reason for wanting to predict the future, the danger is that we become distracted from real engagement in the here and now. So politicians become so concerned about what the polls might be saying that every encounter has to be carefully staged managed and every reply rehearsed and so any real, and therefore risky, engagement is avoided. And those who are thus passed by are left feeling their voices are unheard and their concerns unacknowledged.
Speculating about tomorrow is not confined to politicians. During the resurrection appearances, Peter wants to know what will happen to the Beloved Disciple but is firmly told by Jesus that is none of his concern. In the Narnia Chronicles, the children want to know what will happen to some of the other characters they meet, but are always firmly told that is not their story.
The temptation is to want to skip some of the pages or have a quick peak at the ending; to stay on the one page that is open takes real commitment, even courage. The present moment may be deeply uncomfortable and unappealing and wanting to distract ourselves with thoughts of tomorrow may be very understandable. But it is those who are able to stay most fully present in the present, even in the most difficult of circumstances, who so often have much to teach us.
Rather than speculating about tomorrow, the real art of living is to learn to value today. The here and now is where it is happening.