Monday, January 27, 2014

Week 4: Be Present

Week 4_Be Present“That was so five days ago,” my coworker quipped. I love it. Each time I hear her say this I just get tickled and convicted all at once. She uses this smart little phrase to appropriately classify something that happened in the past and is no longer consuming precious real estate in her brain. In other words, she isn’t concentrating on that former thing, whatever it was. Her focus is on the here and now.

The present…

I will admit, historically I’ve found that concept a bit challenging. Too often I find myself using up my today on thoughts of some of the  foolishness of my yesterday. I’m somewhere spinning my wheels, analyzing something I said, did or experienced (or something someone said or did to me) in the past. Pummeling myself over and over again with mistakes from days gone by… It can be quite a painful and stifling habit.

Whether we like it or not, yesterday is a done deal. Who doesn’t have her share of past things we really wish we could do over? I know I do. As crazy as they may have been, it’s over. Let it go. Now I know you’ve seen me write about my times of reflection, especially at the end of a year. I still stand by those. I believe debriefing and reflection have their place. How else do we really learn from mistakes if we don’t stop and take a moment to identify and evaluate them. But reflecting and dwelling are two totally different things. It’s the dwelling that gets us bogged down and drowning in the quicksand of our past, and certainly not where we want to be. So I’m learning not to dwell.

As Christian woman, biblical scriptures provide wisdom for my everyday life, the foundation of my faith and my source of truth.  There are many scriptures in the bible that remind me that tomorrow is not promised and yesterday is in the bag (my words, not Jesus’, but you get my point). One of my favorites is:

“Do not call to mind the former things or ponder things of the past. Behold I will do something new, Now it will spring forth; Will you not be aware of it?” – Isaiah 43:18,19 NASB

What does this say if not “be present?” No matter what you believe, I’m guessing life has taught you this same truth. Our next moments aren’t guaranteed. This very moment is all that’s guaranteed in this life. The most you can do to change any ugly you don’t like about your past is create beauty in your present. 

So right this very minute stop and ponder your present. What does it look like today? What’s the weather like? Who’s around you? What’s going on? What are you working on? Are you doing your best? Are you BEing your best? Are you absorbing all the present has to offer you? Do things differently today. Start by taking in all that surrounds you. Something, or maybe even someone, new may be standing right before you today, in your present. But will you miss it because you’re always hanging out in your past?

And so we’re rolling along. 52 Weeks to Be Completely You… Are you having fun yet?