Monday, September 26, 2011

Fully Present

One of the beautiful things about children is that they live moment by moment, just the way life happens. As we get older we tend to live more in the past and the future. Life becomes far too complicated this way. God never intended us to bear the burdens of yesterday or tommorrow, He has given us the resources to deal with the present. Just the way the Israelites recieved Manna in the wilderness: Enough for today. I love the message translation of Matt 6:34 "Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don't get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes."
All of us have things in our past that invite us back.
- past sins and regrets that leave us guilty, shamed and condemned. We are tempted to live in the land of regret.
- past hurts and wounds that have been done to us. We are tempted to poison ourselves with unforgiveness bitterness and live in the land of pain.
- past joys that we cling to and long to experience today. We are tempted to long for the past and live in the land of what used to be.
When we live in the past we miss out on the present. The past is for learning from not for living in – if you try to live there you will find there is no oxygen for your soul there. And life will pass you by while you are there. As one person said, “If you live in the past, you will trip over your present and stumble into the future.”

All of us also have things in the future that tempt us to live there:
- worries about what may or may not come
- stress and anxiety planning for tommorrow
- anything that draws our mind and heart from the present (ie. Imagining, "If I could speak to so-and-so right now, I would say, "bla bla"")

As much as envisioning the future, having hope and good planning are all wise. The future calls us to live in it before it is ready. You can't work, eat or play in the future, you can on;y do those things right now. Living right now is what God who describes Himself as "I AM" invites us to. Maybe living in the NOW, in this present moment is part of what it means to be childlike.