Living in the Present. What does that mean? I think it begins with making sure you are “present” in whatever you are doing.
To me, being “present” means focused attention. The world is filled with distractions and when we choose to allow those distractions to take our attention away from everything else by trying to change the past or worrying too much about the future we end up missing what is right in front of us…..the beauty of creation, a child smiling and laughing or a child who needs help, a friend who encourages us or a stranger who we should pray for. We should stop replaying what happened yesterday or what might occur tomorrow in our minds and live today to the fullest.
So how do we get there?
Answer….The Word of God.
I have struggled for many years concerned about what I should have said in a previous conversation or worrying about how I would handle things in a future interaction. I would beat myself up for not doing something or worry constantly about what was to come…..as if I really was the one in control of such things.
Then during a difficult time in our life financially, about 3-4 years ago, I was really down about the way things were going and when I thought they were just about to drop off a cliff completely…we were saved by the Grace of God. My wife and I had completed all the paperwork to file for bankruptcy and left it with a lawyer…..we thought this was our only option…we thought we might lose our home we really didn’t know how things would turn out…meanwhile I had been looking for work. One promising position was progressing well and they needed to complete the background check……if that report showed a bankruptcy I would not get the job….a few days had passed since we left the attorney’s office. I figured I would call the lawyer to see if by chance he had not yet filed the papers, I figured there was no chance….and then God stepped in…..I called and asked “have you filed our papers with the court?”, he responded… “No not yet”……..oh my goodness, I couldn’t believe it. I immediately put a stop to the process and I got the job and we have been working our way to the best financial position we have ever been in. After that phone call and seeing the grace of God in our life, I decided I needed to start dedicating some time every morning to devotions and the Bible…..my reasoning, if I have time to read the newspaper I better have time to spend with God every day.
This was something I needed to commit to priority wise so I bought a Billy Graham devotional book and put it with my devotional bible I received from my parents 16 years prior and I began reading and praying for a few minutes every day I could. This time has become something I look forward to each day…it sets my mind and thoughts up with an encouraging perspective, mindful of how God wants us to think and act and the more I stay focused on that the more peace and contentment I find in life.
For me, the hardest part and the biggest obstacle in becoming a man of faith has been ME! Once I confess to God that I am only human, I am a sinner and I trust him because as it says in the gospel of John 3:16….For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. After reading so many different parts of the Bible about God’s grace, God’s love and God’s mercy I am so thankful for all that he has done for me that I have to do my best to live for Him.