Living in the Present

photo-3A shy little girl with gold curls clutched her basket filled with rose petals tightly. She gently stepped down the grass aisle in her lacy white dress. Focusing with all her might, she stopped in the middle of the path and rapidly dumped out all of the fragile pink petals. The audience giggled as she finished the long walk to the front with a triumphant smile on her rosy cheeks.

This precious scene from a recent wedding I attended has been revisited several times in my mind this week. I often struggle with living in the moment, taking far too much time and energy to worry about the future. The sweet flower girl at the wedding was focused on her one task at hand. She had a job to do and she did it with fierce concentration and determination.

I’ve been asking God lately to help me live in the present and to embrace each moment with joy. Moving to a new rental recently, learning how to raise a one-year-old boy, striving to be good piano and flute instructor, trying to keep our home organized, pinching pennies while grocery shopping, seeking out meaningful relationships, taking time to encourage others, and seeking to be a loving wife have been keeping my mind busy this last month. It is so easy to let my mind wander into the unknown future and begin to worry: “How are we going to pay bills next month? What if I don’t find other mom friends to spend time with this year? What if I miss an opportunity to encourage someone when they really need it?”

I have to stop myself when I begin this harmful pattern of worrying. I need to remind myself constantly that the future as most of us conceptualize it, doesn’t really exist. God holds it far beyond the reach of any person. When I gaze into the future, trying to make predictions, I am really just exercising my imagination. God is the only one who’s existence isn’t limited by time. Just as that little flower girl dropped petals to prepare the way for the bride, God goes before me too. He ensure that I never set foot on anything except the present moment.

So the next time I find myself fantasizing about the unknown, I am going to stop and wake myself up to the reality of the present moment. I’d rather live purposefully in this present reality than roam aimlessly in a fantasy land. My mind is accustomed to wandering into the future though, so I need to continually ask God to help me focus on the present. He is the only one who knows the future and can guide me in it, moment by moment. Praise Him for lovingly going before us down the aisle of life!

“‘I am the Alpha and the Omega,’ says the Lord God, ‘who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.'” (Revelation 1:8)

“Since no man knows the future, who can tell him what is to come?” (Ecclesiastes 8:7)

“The Lord’s unfailing love surrounds the man who trust in Him.” (Psalm 32:10)



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