There are times when it feels like my mind is everywhere but the one place it needs to be. Blame it on technology, the pace of life, lack of sleep, urbanization, being ADD or whatever else you want. I think we all find it hard to live in the moment. We’re constantly bombarded by our phones and our fears. I know there are moments in my life (just last night!) when I’m with people I love but checking tweets from people I don’t even know.
Don’t make the mistake of putting all the blame on your smartphone either. Part of this is just good old fashioned sinfulness. If you dwell in the past or are relentlessly obsessed with the future, you owe it to yourself to figure out why. I know many who are so bound up by guilt and shame over the sin of their past that they can’t enjoy the new mercies of today. I also know some who are so choked with anxiety over the future that they’re paralyzed today. When tomorrow’s uncertain, worry becomes so tempting. Others I know are relentlessly, but irrationally, optimistic that tomorrow’s going to be the big day when everything miraculously falls in place and everything finally goes right. You frequently find these people buying lotto tickets. Yes, God can do anything but I don’t think He’s going to pay off $30,000 in credit card debt without you changing your lifestyle one bit.
The gospel teaches us to learn from our past and anticipate the future. If you’re in Christ, your past is an incredible story of grace – Jesus showing up and doing for us what we could never do for ourselves. Don’t ignore the past! Learn from it. The past becomes a source of wisdom that shapes our present. At the same time, the gospel teaches us to anticipate the future. God is constantly working for our good and His glory. He’s restoring us and making us more like Jesus. Our best days really are ahead; in this life and in the one to come. The hope of the future gives us the strength to endure today’s trials.
But the challenge is being present in the moment. Aware. Engaged. Seeing. Feeling. Loving. Present. Here. Now. With Jesus.
Luke 10:38-42 shows us a brilliant example of living in the moment. You may know the story well:
Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”
Mary’s in the moment. The Son of God has come to her home and she knows that’s going to be the headline for the day. You and I have the same privilege through the gospel – to sit at the feet of Jesus and hear His voice leading and guiding our days.
If we follow Him, we’ll stay in the moment, building on our past and anticipating our future while living where God has called us for the day. And we’ll do it all with Jesus there with us every step of the way.