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.