(You might know I have a philosophical penchant.)
The good old days seem so good to me, not so much because they were simpler (simpler, I say, not easier), nor because they were lived against a superior moral backdrop (though that case could be made), but because as I think back to the past, there is a drawn-out leisure to it all, in my mind at least. Selective memories, you say. No real-life demands. You’re right, I know. Which alerts me to the real rub I’m getting at: Even when I lived through the good times back then, those moments weren’t savored as much as I had wanted.
It seems in most of the present moments that I’ve ever lived, something in me can’t quite get the full satisfaction I hope for. This is further confirmed for me because it works the same way the other direction of time, like with our annual trip to the mountains. I always look forward to it, seeing the pleasing moments of family, meals, and scenery. Then I experience it and realize it’s not as complete as I had pictured. For crying out loud, even my best relationships are tinged by this same odd sensation—that I can never get my arms all the way around the warmth and love I know is there for me to feel. Time moves on, they say. Yes, and the moments pass us by as we live them. There’s a tragedy of loss in it.
I realize that’s what this is all about. That that’s why I put myself through these selective memory gyrations. When I relive past events or look ahead to future ones, in my mind at least, for that duration I get a respite. I’m aware of the truth—that there is no permanent way to ever get my arms around anything, short of keeping my eyes on God the whole time I do it. But in this fallen world, that is challenging beyond my present abilities to consistently achieve. I like where Philippians 2:13 says, “For it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure,” because when I reflect on that verse, I do get the sense that God is at work in me. What bothers me so much is the way I’m always having to readjust my sights to see Him at work in everything there is. “Up from the garden to the Gardener,” writes C.S. Lewis. And I realize that is the thing I must do. Today I shall practice…
I will start with something simple and pleasant, like visiting with a friend over a cup of coffee. Then I will go home to pay the bills and cut the grass. And I will talk with my neighbor over the fence and pet the dog and watch it rain and so forth as the day unfolds. And through it all, “Thank you Jesus for these moments!” I will try to remember to say. For today is another new day, and I hope to live every bit of it with my sights set on God, savoring every moment He provides, as the time keeps going by and by.
I hope this encourages you to experience God in the moment today.
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