We live in an age that seems focused on the ‘here and now’ – we want something and we want it here and now! This is, however, very different from the ‘here and now’ that I’m focusing on today.
I’m talking about I learned of first from a very wise and holy man – a Catholic priest, who spoke to me about not looking back with regret at the future or longing for a imagined future. Instead, he suggested that I learn to live in the present – he said it was called the Sacrament of the Present Moment
. As I read more about this, I saw the great wisdom in this truth – living in the here and now.
In fact, I’ve come to the conclusion that the highest homage we can pay to God is to truly live in the present moment, no matter what it brings. The more we live in the present, the more we learn to become aware of ourselves, our surroundings, the needs and feelings of people around us and we become more aware of God in every moment. I go so far as to say, that not living in the present moment is a kind of arrogance on our part – as if we’re saying what we have ‘here and now’ is not good enough – we long for the past or the future.
Here’s a little story that brings home this so well:
A lover pressed his suit unsuccessfully for many months, suffering the atrocious pains of rejection. Finally his sweetheart yielded. “Come to such and such a place, at such and such an hour,” she said to him.
At that time and place the lover finally found himself seated beside his beloved. He then reached into his pocket and pulled out a sheaf of love letters that he had written to her over the past months. They were passionate letters, expressing the pain he felt and his burning desire to experience the delights of love and union. He began to read them to his beloved. The hours passed by but still he read on and on.
Finally the woman said, “What kind of a fool are you? These letters are all about me and your longing for me. Well, here I am sitting with you at last and you are lost in your stupid letters.”
So if you are searching for love, for peace, for God don’t look further than the present moment – they’re to be found in the ‘here and now’. In the words of Henri Nouwen :
Let’s be patient and trust that the treasure we look for is hidden in the ground on which we stand.
May you be inspired – everyday!
Pic courtesy: http://www.etsy.com