Thursday, January 31, 2019

The blessing of Now!




Right now I am waiting for the teapot to boil so I can make a nice hot cup of coffee on this very cold "polar vortex", day number two.  I'm focused on that teapot. I am grateful for that teapot right now because I am struggling today. I am struggling with living in the present moment. Actually, I must confess, this has been a constant struggle.

Do you struggle with living in the present moment? I believe it is a human struggle. A real human problem.  We are persons of hope and so many times we find ourselves confusing longing for hope. Hope is intricately tied to Divine union. Longing away our present and losing sight of the blessings of now is certainly not hoping. God is hope and God is the God of the present moment.

So here are five tips on how to stay in the blessing of the present moment.

1. Contemplate God's name:

We worship a God of the present moment! A God who, although He knows all things, blesses us in the here and now. Tomorrow? Well, that is just up to Him to gift us with or not!

In Exodus, Moses asked God “if I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your ancestors has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what do I tell them?”

And God replied: "I am who I am." And added. "This is what you will tell the Israelites: I AM has sent me to you."

If you think about it, God could have said anything to Moses. I mean he is God after all. But He chose to say "I AM".

Not, He was.
Not, He will be.

I AM!

Our God is the God of blessing and He blesses us Now!
It is now that we have to count our blessings. It is now that we must choose to live. Not when that addition is finally finished or the last ten pounds are finally lost. When our toddler is finally out of diapers or when we'll have the time to finish that project we started over two years ago.

Contemplate His name. Contemplate how God is good and how his goodness is presently in your life right now. 

2. Count your blessings immediately, right now! 

I do this by walking around my house literally cataloging all the things God has blessed me with. And I am not just referring to the material things. I thank God for my children, relationships, health, experiences etc. But if you want to focus on the present, try to literally thank God for what you are presently in front of, what you are doing, what you are feeling and seeing. Use the fives senses to list all the blessings you are living this minute. 

This is why I thanked God for my boiling teapot. He is a God of details. Yes, He even takes care of those little tiny details like that great cup of coffee as you look out onto the snowy white landscape. 

3. Practice Lectio Divina:

Lectio Divina is a way of reading and contemplating Scripture in the here and now. The great thing about Lectio Divina is you must focus on what God is trying to tell you in the right now.  Basically, there are four parts to Lectio Divina: read, reflect, respond and rest. The steps are pretty self-explanatory. You read the Scripture passage/passages. What grabs your attention? You reflect on what God is saying to you. Respond to God by reading the passage a third time and answering to His message to you (you can also journal your answer). And finally, rest. Read the passage a fourth time and rest in God's Word and God's love through His word. 

There is nothing more grounding than God's Word. His Word is alive! The beauty of Lectio Divina is that today God will say one thing to your heart and then two weeks from now, the same passage will say something totally different. That is because God's word is for the present moment and it is in the present moment that we are living and that is when He speaks. 

4. Beware of Social Media:

Social media has a way of robbing us of the present moment. The dangers of social media are not only a loss of precious time that we will never ever get back again but it also robs us of our gratitude. It has been reported that "those who used social media the most were about 2.7 times more likely to be depressed than participants who used social media the least. Why do we get depressed when we are on social media too long? Because we are focusing on the edited life and happiness of others and not on reality. Not on our reality. The time we could be spending living the present moment is lost in a world that tempts us to focus on what we do not have. 

Social media in and of itself is not evil, it's how we use it that can become a problem. Many women reported feeling depressed after going on Facebook and Instagram. Let's be vigilant and live more in the moment and interact with those around us rather than getting lost in a virtual world where we are mentally comparing ourselves to other peoples edited lives. 

5. Set more short-term goals:

Goals are great! I love setting goals. Shoot, I am constantly writing up lists of things I would like to accomplish. It keeps me on my toes and helps me to accomplish things I would otherwise put off. But long term goals can get in the way of living the present moment. Although we should have them, we should also focus on short-term goals. I mean short-short term goals, for today. 

These short-short term goals are not a list of chores. It's not a grocery list. It is a goal that I will set for today that I need to accomplish now. Some examples? Pray. Count blessings. Not yell. Offer up the mundane chores for those who need it. To be joyful when my husband walks through the door even though the kids are on my last nerve. Those kinds of short-term goals. Goals of becoming a better you rather than waiting until...whatever it is will make you a better person in the future rather than today.


This is how I try and overcome the temptation of living way out into the future. These are the ways in which I can stay focused in the here and now. The blessing of now is fleeting. The blessing of this moment is all we have from God. He does not give us the grace for tomorrow because He is the God of now. I AM he said to Moses. He is the God of love. He is the God of the present. He is our first blessing. Now. Today! 




Photograph courtesy of Pixabay


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