The Eternal Present – Living in the Now
Summer-like weather had kissed the coastal city in mid-winter. The warm sun shone brightly, not a cloud in the sky. Birds sang happily, chattering away noisily with their peers while enjoying their southern sojourn. Flowers bloomed merrily in every garden and by the wayside paths. It was the kind of day when no one should be stuck inside. But that was where she had been all day. There were dishes to wash, groceries to purchase, documents to proof-read, checkbooks to be balanced. That was all on top of caring for a small child and keeping him safe as he explored the many nooks and crannies of his world. By the time all was done and they could go outside, it was already time for her to begin dinner preparations, so someone else got to go out with him!
By late evening, as bedtime approached, dinner now having been completed, dishes done, beds ready for their occupants, the little guy decided he didn’t want to stop playing and get ready for bed. She was frustrated and tired — not at all in a mood to be patient and gentle. Fortunately, she recognized the need for a quick break and walked into another room long enough to regain a bit of peace. When she came out, the child ran towards her, his face one big smile from ear to ear. All memory of the battle waged a few moments earlier long gone from his mind. He had a story for bedtime. Could they read it? Of course, they could, and the rest of the evening ritual proceeded pleasantly. She even got a few minutes of quiet before retiring herself.
The experience of our “heroine” is, I think, all too common for many of us today. There is so much to be done. So many expectations of how quickly we must respond, so many opportunities to be “busy about many things,” that we end up over-stressed and missing the wonders of the present moment. Yet we would be well advised to notice the child’s way of living in each moment. After all, Jesus told his followers that the Kingdom is made of child-like people — people who can be present in the moment.
God exists in the Eternal Present. Every moment is new in that Eternal Present. Nothing carries over except God’s ever outpouring love. God does not hold on to the past — all is new and everything is possible. “Your sins I remember no more.” (Isaiah 43:25)
We, on the other hand, get stuck in the upsets, angers, resentments and disappointments of the past. Our ability to see and respond to love gets paralyzed. We become separated from our loving, ever present God and the wonder of ever new life flowing out as the present moment.
Jesus comes to lead us from that separation, that paralysis of living and re-living the past (aka, our sinfulness). Once we accept that healing, we can once again rise from our mats as did the paralyzed man in the Gospel (Mark 2:1-12), dancing in the joy of new life in God’s NOW.
Daffodils Bloom – from public-domain-image.com