You know the ol’ saying “Be careful what you wish for because you may get it!” We have a tradition in our family; maybe you do something similar. On New Year’s Eve we list out goals for the next year. These goals represent our hopes, our dreams, what we would like to see become reality. This year I had one goal…To be present and live in the moment. This goal is challenging for me because it forces me to have no other goals, to stop day dreaming of what could be and just be.
Being this way allows me to look my daughters in the eye when they talk about their day, asking insightful questions and being interested. Being in the moment means noticing the small changes in my wife’s mood. Noticing when she needs a break and being attentive to her needs, offering encouragement when she is deflated and being playful when she needs to laugh. Being in the moment means sitting on the floor and playing with cars and trucks with my son. It means being patient with him and teaching him how to act and play well with others. This means being slow to speak and quick to listen. Most of us would admit that these are all positive character traits, but why don’t we practice them more often? Why do we tend to live in the future and neglect the present?
Perhaps, living in the future makes us feel safe. When we create a stable future for ourselves it brings with it a sense of order, something to work towards, something to give us meaning. But in reality this future is a fiction, it is a fantasy, it is a dream. The reality is this we are not guaranteed tomorrow. So we must make the most of each day. Jesus said it this way… Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. –Matthew 6:34
Trouble is a word that each of us is growing more familiar with lately. Many are out of work, questioning when they will be able to go to the grocery store again. Others are overworked concerned with when they will be able to see their families again. Some feel smothered by the increased time indoors surrounded by rowdy children and limited activities. Others feel isolated wondering when they will be able to touch another human being again. Still others are going stir crazy not knowing how to prepare for the future. So where do we go from here? This is unknown territory for all of us!
When the future is unknown the present is all we have. And that may be the greatest gift we can take away from this crisis. We can slow down and give others the quality time we previously had no time to offer them. We can live without an agenda and enjoy being present. Listen to the teaching of Jesus and pray that we apply his principles today because “Life is like a roll of toilet paper, the closer we get to the end the quicker it goes!” – Tom Smith
“You cannot serve both God and Money. Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” -Matthew 6:24b-34