Living in this Moment

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One of the most difficult things to relearn after a certain age is the ability to live in the moment. As we enter adulthood we often lose the ability to live moment-to-moment in anything like comfort. We find ourselves planning for this expense and that expense, for this vacation and that event, for retirement, for college expenses for children, for hurricanes, for the Apocalypse. You name it, we're planning for it.

Not that planning is a bad thing--it isn't. But too often we are so wrapped up in planning that we forget to live. We're living in the future that is not yet here. In other words, we're not living at all, but waiting for some magical instant when the harmonic convergence will converge and we will enter the age of milk and honey.

Ain't happening. This is Satan's most clever ploy. How many times do we hear, "There will be a better time. Just wait. The time will come"? How many times do we listen. "We should wait to have children." Why? What are you waiting for--more money, better time? It isn't going to happen. "We should wait to get married. . ." Until?

Occasionally there is great prudence in waiting. For example, waiting upon God's will is what we are supposed to do. Of course that waiting isn't an example of mere stasis, it is waiting in the sense of table-waiting--performing then as it were. But even at that there are prudential times and there are times for things to come to fruition. Problem is, we aren't really good at tellilng when these are AND so, as we age we tend to wait.

Well, there's really no point. Even when we're maxed out, as I have been at work recently--those are moments to embrace and live and feel the vbrant, life-giving, encompassing love of God that fills every moment of every day. Seize this moment, this time. Now is the proper time. This instant is the proper instant. Don't think about yesterday and tomorrow--at least don't allow them to loom so large that their shadow obscures everything present. Live now. Live in God's Love which is now, in the present, in the only moment we have. We have lost yesterday and we may not have tomorrow. Now is the time to practice the presence of God. Each time we sin is the time to repent and start up again.

We can stand all summer at the edge of the pool and contemplate whether or not we will jump in. Or we can plunge in, swim and rejoice in that mysterious lightness of body that comes from being present to God, from living in Him.

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Welcome back, even if only for a moment. :-)

I agree that living in the moment is one of the very hardest things to do ... thanks for the reminder that it is a ploy of Satan, which is easy to forget.

For those of us hyper-structured types, it is good to schedule in free time that is truly free - to read to the children, roll on the grass with them, have a ticklefest, etc. That works for me. I can then totally relax as I know there is time allotted to deal with all the stuff I "need" to be doing.

It is good to see you blogging again.

This reminds me of a lovely poem from Ryokan -- a Zen monk living between 1758--1831

First days of spring--the sky
is bright blue, the sun huge and warm.
Everything's turning green.
Carrying my monk's bowl, I walk to the village
to beg for my daily meal.
The children spot me at the temple gate
and happily crowd around,
dragging at my arms till I stop.
I put my bown on a white rock,
hang my bag on a branch.
First we braid grasses and play tug-of-war,
then we take turns singing and keeping a kick-ball in the air:
I kick the ball and they sing, they kick and I singg.
Time is forgotten, the hours fly.
People passing by point at me and laugh:
"Why are you acting like such a fool?"
I nod my head and don't answer.
I could say something, but why?
Do you want to know what's in my heart?
From the beginning of time: just this! just this!



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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on June 17, 2005 8:10 AM.

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