I’ve been a planner for as long as I conscientiously remember.
When I was six, I wrote down a list of names I wanted to name my future children.
When I was ten, I remember wondering what the awesome age of twenty would be like.
When I was thirteen, I began filling out applications for jobs I couldn’t have until I was fourteen… just to be ready.
In my early years of college and marriage, I always had a “five-year plan.”
My son’s chronic medical needs have impacted our perspective and attitude so much that I barely plan ahead to this weekend.
And, in general… I think that’s a good thing—for me.
The Future is Not Now
I used to place too much value on the future, thinking, If I could just reach this milestone, this event, things will be calmer/easier/better.
Not that there’s anything wrong with looking to the future with hope, the right hope. I recommend doing so.
“The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him;
it is good to wait quietly
for the salvation of the Lord.” – Lamentations 3:25-26
But, when I place all my thought energies to then, I lose part of now.
I also struggle with blaming myself for the past. A conversation steered wrong, an act of kindness left undone.
Inward reflection can lead to learning from mistakes—a worthwhile process to undertake. But what good does lingering, wallowing do?
Young children, by nature of how God wove them together, focus on now. They are easily drawn into the present moment. And what does this usually bring? Joy, excitement, and wonder.
My kids do this for me, too.
I may be thinking on the day’s to-do list, or a conversation from last week. They wake up, and smile. Not because they dwell on what “has to be done,” but because they see their momma and each other now.
When they play, they explore with such awe in what they see and experience now, which helps them grow for future experiences, yes, but they see the gift of now.
Honestly, I’m tired. I’m tired of worrying about the future, and being frustrated with myself for the past.
And now goes by so fast.
The Why Behind the Now
“For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord.” – Ephesians 5:8-10 (emphasis added)
This is what now holds. Now says I am in light. Now says all I need to do is consider if whatever I’m doing pleases the Lord.
And so I claim this the year of now.
How do you help yourself live in now? If you have chosen a word for the year? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!