Sunday, January 21, 2007

Living in the "now"

As I get older (notice I did not say more mature) I am still discovering characteristics about myself. Oh sure, they are not new, they were always there, but I never realized how influential they were in my life or how others do not necessarily have the same viewpoints.

One such characteristic is that I live in the "now". Oh sure, I can plan for the future and even set goals. In fact, part of my calling in life is to always be thinking of the future and how to change things for the better when we get there. But as a person I am very much in the present tense. The past? What's that? In fact, I can't even judge time that has past. When I recall an event that happened in the recent past, I usually can't tell without a calendar whether or not it was a month ago, two months ago or half a year. Seriously, that is not an easy thing for me to do.

At first I thought this was a memory problem. But the truth is, my memory of what took place is complete, it is how long ago it took place that is lost. The tracking of time's passage is not easy for me.

Of note is the fact that I journal every day. I have stacks of completed journals tucked away in my office. But I never read them unless I am specifically trying to track something down. How silly is that? I miss out on some of the best value in journalling. But I am so in the moment that I am more concerned with writing today's entry then reading any of yesterday's. I tell myself that some day in the future I should plan a whole weekend to read past journals and see what God has done...but of course that is something for the future and I never really go there much either.

Relationships are also affected by this characteristic. The people I am with in the moment are so real and special to me, but if we are apart for a while I am not good at keeping in touch with them. I think that may hurt people because we are so close in the now and then distant later. But I have to say, they are still just as special in my heart and mind, and when we are together in the now again, for my part, we will not be any less connected.

I am sure this characteristic has benefits, but I am also aware that it has its dark side.

What is really hitting me hard, though, is how much it is entrenched in who I am and how hard it is for me to be anything else. I am in the present and cannot be in the future or the past. The present is where I will stay.

If I can live for Jesus in the present, then I guess I will also live for him in the future. If I can love my wife and kids in the present, I am pretty much assured I will love them in the future as well. Living in the past does not promise such rewards, at least I don't think it does, I wouldn't actually know...I've never been there (or if I ever was...I don't remember it).

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