I’m the parent who loves that my son coos and grins, but just can’t wait until he can say a few words. I bought his four-month-old self a swimming suit yesterday—perfect for swimming next summer. I was tempted, even, to buy a kiddy pool—envisioning (and getting goosebumps) his first doggy paddle. This has always been my way. In college, it was next quarter, next spring break, next year. It seems there was always something on the horizon that thrilled me to the core, and turned the present into a glorified waiting area.
God is in the Present
So why am I taking a stab at writing about living in the now, considering my pathetic track record? Because I believe there is much more than happiness at stake in staying present. If you study the teachings of Jesus, clearly God transcends time. He knows the end from the beginning. Still, (probably because he’s so healthy and relational) he will not meet us in the past or in the future. God can only commune within the present.
This is huge. This means that to have a meaningful spiritual life, a friendship with Almighty God, and a kind of journey that will end in the eternity of Heaven, I need to get rooted in the now. I can only hear Jesus now. I can only trust Jesus now. And I can only honor Jesus now. Not tomorrow, not yesterday. So no matter how bad or good the trend in my life seems to be, these next five minutes are all that I have to work with.
Sinking into this reality, I can clearly see that past and future tripping are just that—tripping. Like smoking a drug to check out on life, wallowing in a different time frame can be devastating to our dreams. First, because the people we live with now can only be known and loved in the present. Second, because the work meant for now is not getting done. Thus tomorrow’s foundation may not be in place for tomorrow’s plans. And third, because this kind of thinking usually creates a monster that will come into every aspect of our lives without discretion, creating a trend you will quickly love to hate.
So what do we humans do? How do we stay focused on the here and now once and for all? I see God as our only way out. He’s the only person we can be in a relationship with twenty-four/seven, no matter what. He’s the only one who can really call us out on this. He knows the damage of our habits more profoundly than we do, and He knows why it’s so tempting for us to try and escape present reality. Add to all of this the fact that He has put our best interests so far above His own that He allowed His family to die for us.
So I’m giving God permission to be close to me, to speak to me, and even hit me over the psyche when I’m lost in the la-la lands of everywhere but now. I’ve already got a head start on this by asking God to call me back into the present via any means possible as we journey along together.
So I can relax. Why? Because I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God always comes through with help when I honestly ask for it. Yes, He’s heard my asking. Yes, He knows I mean it. So hello now! I’m here to stay!
If you enjoyed this, you may like, About My Heart.
Clar Worley writes from the Pacific Northwest.© 2002 - 2023, AnswersForMe.org. All rights reserved. Click here for content usage information.