Herald Journal Columns
July 3, 2006, Herald Journal

Living for the moment

There’s a Bible verse that I discovered on my very first TEC (Together Encountering Christ) retreat.

“Never boast about tomorrow, you don’t know what will happen between now and then.” -Proverbs 27:1.

This verse really spoke to me at that particular time.

If you have ever been on a TEC retreat, you know that people are always telling you “Don’t anticipate, participate.”

So when I read this verse, I was like, “Maybe they’re right.” Maybe I shouldn’t be anticipating what will happen next.

This verse tells me to live for the moment; don’t think about all the things tomorrow will bring, enjoy every single second of the day.

If you are constantly thinking about tomorrow, you’ll never get anything done today.

Sure, you may be leaving for a wild vacation to the rainforest tomorrow, but if you don’t think about today, you may forget to pack the bug spray, leaving you full of unwanted itchiness.

Another reason to think about the right now is because sometimes you don’t think.

You can be spontaneous and silly right now.

If you’re planning ahead, it just doesn’t have the spontaneity.

Oh yes, tomorrow I’m going to randomly decide to strip down and go skinny dipping, but I’m not going to plan it . . .

If we don’t live for the moment, we could be missing out on something great; a look from that cute guy, your son’s first steps, or the wise words of a great person.

At times, I pretend to be listening to someone while I’m actually off in “la la land.” Then they say something interesting, and I’m like, “What? Oh, I didn’t catch that.”

Now, that just makes you look stupid and inattentive.

But what I’m trying to get at is that we should be listening to those who have experience, observing those who are willing to teach, and always be looking for the little things that we may not catch if we’re too busy thinking about tomorrow.

I recently took the time to observe someone and the manner in which he carried himself.

This person was so attentive to what other people had to say and genuinely listened to the answers of the questions asked when getting to know someone else.

He definitely lived each day to the fullest and took time to reflect on his faith, all while bringing joy to people.

I truly admire this person and the way he lives his life.

Each day we wake up, we have to choose to want to take things slowly, to just “go with the flow” and not try to make things happen the way we think we want them to go.

Because the more we want things to happen a certain way, the better chance there is that they will go the exact opposite way.

I know that, sometimes, life gets so stressful and you constantly feel like you have so much to get done; believe me, I do.

But when times are crazy, we must take a deep breath and just listen.

Listen to the birds chirping outside, listen to an elder tell you a story from a million years ago, listen to your own breathing pattern.

And when I say listen, I don’t mean to look attentively while nodding furiously to show that you’re paying attention, all while thinking of the wrestling match you saw last night.

I mean to truly absorb every word that another person says, and remember it.

You don’t even necessarily have to look at the person, just close your eyes and listen.

I have learned so much from other people, by just absorbing their persona and taking in all they have to say.

Between right now and tomorrow, anything from nothing to death can happen, so make the most of it!

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