present distractions, abstractions

Wherever you are, be all there.
-Jim Elliot

He has a problem living in the here and now. Being actively, painfully, joyfully engaged in the immediate moment is, for some reason, not natural to him. It seems he’s more comfortable griping about the Past or fretting about the Future. As a result, his contact with his Present degrades into mere necessity; a road he must pass through, albeit thoughtlessly and passively, as he vacillates between Past and Future. Today’s travails, celebrations, and personalities are dwarfed to insignificance by his preoccupation with the haunting permanence of Yesterday’s regrets and the hovering mischief of Tomorrow’s uncertainties.

At all cost he must labor to cease this sadistic wallowing in the Past and futile projections into the Future. He must fill his Present absence by collecting all of himself–bringing together the parts hostaged by the Past and Future–and focusing his whole being in living in the Present. Why? Because the potency of life is in the Present. In the Present, the lessons and insights of the Past can be crafted into gems and weapons. In the Present, the unknown nature of the Future can become a wellspring of hope and challenge.

Oh that he would learn to live in the Present. Oh that he would learn to live.

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4 thoughts on “present distractions, abstractions”

  1. hi —

    what you wrote makes me think of some one i know. and makes me feel sad. sayang that we miss out on a lot of good things just because we choose to hold on to the burdens of yesterday and the anxieties of tomorrow. if we can only let Jesus be the Savior of our hang-ups too! then, perhaps, living will be a lot simpler for us and for others with us… and life will be a million times more beautiful.

    by the way, i enjoy visiting your blog. makes me think of starting my own too. hmmm…maybe some day.

    another thing — promise me that you’ll give my favorite publisher the first read on your brewing book manuscript 🙂

  2. What matters really is the here-and-now. To enjoy a ‘good’ present, we need to learn from the past and plan well for the future.

  3. And yet life is not just about what may come. While it is true that an important part of us pines for what is to come, we are, in the meantime, here. While the promise of paradise is true, while indeed, we have a destination far more glorious than this present time- that is yet to be. We are not just some spiritual beings that bear no mark on this world, detached, unconcerned.

    We are grounded on where we are, in our context, our place. This present moment, here, is a gift, and we are to make the most of this gift. It is as much the will of God for us to be here as it is for us to be there. This is the only moment we have. This life shall never be lived again. And so we count our days. We are to make our mark, to be alive, to see, taste, touch, hear and smell every moment. We are to breathe in the very wonder of the “now-ness” of our time here. This place, this moment, this life – we are to take hold of it.

    And when we get to the “there,” we can look back with the Master, and hear Him say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

  4. Justyna – thanks for dropping by and posting. u should by all means start a blog! would love to read it 🙂 oo nga, Jesus is savior of our past, present, and future. while this is a remarkable truth, it is an different thing to live according to that truth.

    alan – hey, thanks for dropping by. sorry for the misspelled URL. temporary dyslexia. hehe.

    pas bong – ah, wisdom revealed only to the aged clergy. haha… seriously, i say a loud “Amen” to that pas 😉

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