Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Present Moment

I tend to stumble through life always looking for the next thing ahead. 

In elementary school, I couldn't wait to be in middle school so I could play in the band. 
And in middle school, I couldn't wait for high school because high schoolers were so cool.
And in high school, I couldn't wait for college because I was ready to be on my own and to figure out what I was going to do for the rest of my life. 
And now that I have a year left of college, I can't wait to see my future unfold and get to do full time what I am passionate about. 

I am always looking for the next thing. Even within my week, I feel this concept at work. 
I always am thinking about what is ahead, what I have to get done, and what's coming next.

But God has spoken something very real into my life over the past few days.

Live in the present moment. 

I find this to be so difficult. I am a planner by birth and to be anything other than that seems foreign to me. 

I've been praying so hard over the past several months for God to help me to see the present moment. I have been praying that he would help me to stop thinking about what's next, and to really live.

On Friday morning, I came across this quote:

"Only the present moment is real and available to us. The peace we desire is not in some distant future, but it's something we can realize only in this present moment."

The past is a memory and the future is unknown, but in the present moment there is so much power. It seems to me that only in the present moment are we really alive. 

The Lord has really placed on my heart that I am not guaranteed the next moment. Therefore, I should be doing everything within my capability to serve him, right now, this moment. 

I have found that there are times in my life when this truth has been more real than others. And in times when it has been more real, my life has looked much different. 

When I live in the present, I chose love over selfishness.
When I live in the present moment, I chose forgiveness over my pride. 
When I live in the present moment, I chose joy over sorrow.
When I live in the present moment, I chose the needs of others before my own. 
When I live in the present moment, I give my undivided attention instead of just quick nod and smile. 

And every since friday morning, I have tried my hardest to live in the present. This doesn't mean I stop planning the things I need to get done, or where my future is going. 

Instead, it means that I have sought to love to the best of my ability (while often failing.) I have sought to really listen to others. I have tried to be Jesus to others. I have been intentional about my relationships. I have made new friends, listened better, and shown joy more. And I must admit...these past few days have been some of the days that I have felt most alive and most real.  

This is not to say that I can do this perfectly by any means. I've had to write on my hand "live in the present!" so that I can constantly remember...but my outlook has been forever changed. 

When we chose the present moment over dwelling on the past or plotting the future, we chose to be available, open, and authentic. And I think this is the people Christ has called us to be. 

I have been blessed beyond measure over the past several days through people and different opportunities to love. I pray that Christ continues to open my heart to what it means to live and love right now, in this very moment. 

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