Trying to Live in the Now

Garth Live in the Now

 

“If we don’t call you in a week, that means the biopsies came back clear.  We now only call if the biopsies come back as melanoma.”

So I’m waiting.  It will be a week tomorrow.

This is nothing  new to me.   Every 3-6 months for the last five years, I’ve waited for a call.

Five years ago I had a melanoma removed from my arm.  Four months ago I had a melanoma removed from my face.  “Scarface” is my new nickname.  The doctor says that eventually the scar won’t even be noticeable.  He’s good at what he does so he’s probably right.  Although, honestly, I wouldn’t mind having a bit of a scar.  It adds some character. Makes me feel tough.

They used to call whether the news was good or bad.  Now they only call if it’s bad.  I get that.  Calling takes a lot of time because there are a lot of patients.

It used to be that when I saw their number pop up I wondered, “What will it be?” Now, if it pops up, I’ll know without even talking to them.”

So I’m waiting.

I’m watching the phone.

I’m wondering.

And yes, I’m worrying.

I know I shouldn’t worry.  So I’m also worrying about worrying!

I’m remembering Garth’s advice.  I’m reading The Power of the Now by Eckart Tolle.  Tolle nails it, “This kind of psychological fear is always of something that might happen, not of something that is happening now.  You are in the here and now, while your mind is in the future. This creates an anxiety gap.”   You think?

“You can always cope with the present moment,  but you cannot cope with something that is only a mind projection – you cannot cope with the future.”  

“Now” is the key to the dimension of peace.

Then there are the sayings in the Bible.  I’ve preached them more times than I can count! But I haven’t learned to practice them.  I haven’t moved into that dimension of transformation.  I want to.

“Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow.  God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes (Matthew 6:34 The Message).  

“And now I have a word for you who brashly announce, ‘Today – at the latest, tomorrow – we’re off to such and such a city for the year.  We’re going to start a business and make a lot of money’  You don’t know the first thing about tomorrow.  You’re nothing but a wisp of fog, catching a brief bit of sun before disappearing.  Instead, make it a habit to say, ‘If the Master wills it and we’re still alive, we’ll do this or that.’  As it is,  you are full of your grandiose selves.  All such vaunting self-importance is evil.  In fact, if you know the right thing to do and don’t do it, that, for  you, is evil” (James 4:13-17 The Message).  

Did you catch the drift?

“Give your attention to what God is doing Right Now…”

“You don’t know the first thing about tomorrow…do the right thing now. If I don’t do now what I know is right, that is sin (Yes, I paraphrased it).

What is happening now?  What is God saying and doing now?  What is the right thing to do now?  I don’t know tomorrow.  I don’t know the next minute.  So I will live now.  I will love now.  I will do right and do good now.  At least I want to.

Oh, that phone call?  Believe it or not, I forgot about it while I was writing.  That’s good.  Maybe I’m making progress.

 

 

 

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Live Now

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I asked a friend for the title of a book that has meant a lot to her. I respect her and wanted to read something that means something to her. Her pick: Way of the Peaceful Warrior, by Dan Millman.

I finished it yesterday.

Great pick.

My thought this week is from this book. A character in the story, nicknamed Socrates, tells his apprentice, “There is a saying: ‘When you sit, sit; when you stand, stand; whatever you do, don’t wobble.’ Once you make your choice, do it with all your spirit.” Socrates then gives a metaphor that hits home with me: “Don’t be like the preacher who thought about praying while making love to his wife, and thought about making love to his wife while praying.”

That made me chuckle. Denise too.

The take-away? Live in the now. Live in the present.

Sunday is Father’s Day. The take-away fits. With your family, with your kids, live in the now.
I didn’t live that way with my boys.
We did a lot of things together, but I wasn’t totally there for those things.
For them.
I was there in body, but parts of my mind, my emotions, my attention were with the church – deacons or elders, staff, sermon preparation, a family in crisis. There was always something else.

I regret that.

What did I miss by not being “in the moment”?

So, today, I am intentionally living now. In the moment. Every moment. Not the next moment. Not the last moment. The present moment.

The days are long gone when our boys were living with Denise and me. But, I’m not living in regret of those missed yesterday moments. I will, though, do better in the present moments.

Happy Father’s Day!