“This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” — Psalm 118:24
Past, Present and Future: Time is a tricky thing. Most people are striving for life in the future or remembering the past, but rarely do people appreciate the moment of now. What is now? Now is the moment you are in right now. Reading this newsletter wherever you are, this is now. Chances are that before you were reading these words you were thinking about something you have to do in the days ahead or what happened last week. That is the future and past. But now is where you are at this moment. This day. Simple, right? But think for a moment how little each person actually lives in the now moment. Oftentimes, living in the now moment can be viewed as a wild or unruly life. This is an extreme view of the now moment. Obviously, every person needs to plan appropriately for the future, but living in and appreciating this day that the Lord has made, is something most people have forgotten. Yes, your life is moving towards the future, and every person remembers the past, but equally, we live in the now, so we should not neglect it. Why is the now important? Well, if you suffer from guilt or anxiety it is because you are living your life in the past and the future. Guilt is the feeling of past perceived failings, while anxiety is the feeling of uneasiness about future outcomes. Guilt and anxiety wreak havoc in your daily life and are crippling for both mental health and spiritual growth. Whereas, now is independent of these. Likewise, when you pray and worship the Lord you are in the now moment communing with the Almighty. Living in the now can be a way of life if you learn to lay down your worries and focus instead on the moment you are presently in.
Getting out of your Head: When you dwell on something and imagine the outcomes excessively, you become a person who feasts on your own thoughts. Instead of seeking truth, the mind creates its own reality out of imagination. This is worry — you are imagining an outcome that isn’t pleasant. GET OUT OF YOUR HEAD! This is where the enemy will bounce you around and beat you up. Jesus constantly spoke to people about worry. “For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they?” And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. “So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:25–34. Jesus reminds us not to worry about the future, but rather to face what is in front of us at the moment and seek first the kingdom. So, don’t worry about tomorrow, but rather learn to appreciate where you are and what you have now. When you live in your own mind you are creating false realities and predicting a negative outcome. Take a step back, release all your worries to the Lord and deny the enemy a foothold. God says He will take care of us, we need to believe in Him instead of our imaginations.
Smell the Roses: When you take time to live in the now and appreciate what you have, you will become more cognizant of what is truly important. Test it out for a day, and in fact, try it right after you read this. Go over and tell your spouse that you love them, play with your kids in the backyard, call your mom and dad, pray in the spirit and worship the Lord as you take a walk. Look at the birds of the air and contemplate the wonderful and amazing works of the Almighty. Do an activity in the now and release the pressures of this world created by your mind. When you train yourself to live in such a way you will find the simple things in life are the most valuable. Your relationships, your family, your time with God, these are what really matter. Moreover, when you clean out all the grime of worry from your mind you will become more creative, productive, and joyful of the little things.
Sacrifice, Not Self: Living for the now moment should not devolve into selfish activities for your desire, but rather it should be about sacrifice. A person who constantly lives in their head is self-obsessed with their future outcomes. Even if you are worried about someone else, you are still obsessing about how that will make you feel. When you lay down your worries and live life, you will find many of your selfish desires begin to fall away. Living in the now is about appreciating all that God has done and being grateful. It is about making both large and small sacrifices for those you love and sharing the light of Christ with the world.