Being in the NOW
[mk_dropcaps style="fancy-style"]F[/mk_dropcaps]ou know that saying: “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift that is why it’s called the present?” It’s cliche but carries a lot of truth. In talking about what whole health looks like this is a key mindset worthy of some discussion. I like the concept of living in the NOW. It seems so simple. Be here. Be present in whatever you’re doing as you’re doing it. But I’m a girl! I over think things. I’m always thinking how do I break that habit to be fully engaged with what I’m doing right now? My thoughts so easily get derailed to thoughts of the past, or picturing and imagining the infinite options of the future. All of that combined together takes up a lot of energy and mental real estate.
I notice it taking effect the most when I’m trying to read, pray or get focused on work. When I’m reading I can read whole pages and while my eyes were skimming the words my mind was thinking about some situation I was in yesterday. Nothing from the book is absorbed and I have to stop and go back to where I remember what I was reading. In prayer the challenge is quiting all those extraneous thoughts. It is only when I can shift my focus to God thinking about all I’m grateful for and giving him praise the noise of the pressing thoughts of what’s coming that day gets push to the background.
While we have spring cleaning to de-clutter our physical space, I think we should have daily mind cleaning time. That way we make room for what is in today. With no contamination or distraction of the past and future. Significant moments only happen in your NOW. Yes time makes them become the past, but if you never had that experience in a now moment it never happened. Yet we can make things take up what Paul Scanlon calls “psychological time.” The space in our mind that worry occupies. Those things are the hardest to clean out when unhealthy. They are the thoughts that we repeat over and over to a point of worry. Our perspective changes as this type of thinking becomes habitual impacting all of our NOW moments while we allow it to remain.
I’m not condemning anyone who struggles with worry or stress. I struggle with it like anyone. What I want to encourage you in this today is to take a mental inventory today (maybe even for a full week) to see where the majority of your thoughts are focused. Are they in the NOW, past or future? If the majority of your thoughts are in the past or future it’s time to start making some changes. Thinking on the past is helpful at times, and thinking about the future can guide us to fulfillment of our vision and purpose so they have value, but it is how much room we give them that matters.
I think part of what truly being grateful looks like is slowing down enough to enjoy the present of NOW to the fullest. Take it for what it is. Learn from it, enjoy it, share it. In doing so I think we will open our eyes and ears to what God is desiring to do in us here and now.
[mk_blockquote style="line-style" font_family="none" text_size="16" align="center"]Do not remember the former things, Nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness And rivers in the desert.- Isaiah 43:18-19[/mk_blockquote]