When I think of living in the moment, it brings back memories that are so etched in my mind. Some of which were from long ago. They are memories where I was embracing the moment to the fullest. I remember these moments so vividly even still today. I remember the day I married my husband Jim. I can still remember walking down the aisle and seeing him standing there waiting for me. Another one is the day I gave birth to my daughter Dawn, and I can still hear those words from my doctor “It’s a girl”. Another moment that is forever ingrained in my memory is the moment I received Jesus as my Lord and Savior. (It was in the same church where I married Jim, so it holds a very special place in my heart.) You would have thought there was a sale at Bloomingdales the way I ran to the altar. My life has been forever changed since that moment.
These memories have great significance in my life because I was able to take every second in. That is what living in the moment is all about.
However, living in the moment can sometimes be really hard to do because we are distracted by things that have happened in the past or worrying about things that might happen in the future.
In Matthew 6:25 Jesus asks us this question: “Can anyone of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” He goes on to say, “so do not worry, saying, what shall we eat? Or what shall we drink? Or what shall we wear? For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.” A few verses later he breaks it down even further with these words to live by. “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matthew 6:33).
In this passage, Jesus shows us why we do not need to worry. God is aware that we have earthly needs and promises to fulfill them when our focus is on Him. As we focus on God, our minds begin to shift to receive the things that are of God. One of these things is peace (Isaiah 26:3). Just like a child is able to have peace in their lives because they trust their parents to fulfill their needs, we too can have peace because our heavenly Father knows what we need and He will provide it.
Another obstacle that prevents us from living in the moment is living in the past. We all have things in our past that we wish we can change. Maybe we regret doing something and wish we could go back and change it. Or maybe someone hurt us terribly and we are holding onto unforgiveness because of what they did. Regret and unforgiveness have a way of taking prominence in our lives, but it is important we learn to forgive and let go of those things we can’t change. In Jesus, we have the opportunity to repent and receive forgiveness for those moments when we might have failed and even those moments when someone has failed us. We can then let go and take hold of the freedom we have in Christ Jesus. We are then able to live in the moment filled with joy and thanksgiving knowing that weight of sin and shame has been lifted off us. We know this because Jesus paid the price for our sins on the cross and you can live your life as a reflection of that victory he won for you. The more we trust in and follow God, the more we are able to live in the moment.
Finally, we have a choice to make in the way we respond to our circumstances and this determines whether we live in the moment or not. Victor or victim, the choice is always ours. No matter what our circumstances, it all has to do with our attitude and perspective on things. My mom is a wonderful example of this. She chooses to live her best life every day and not allow her circumstances to keep her trapped in a victim mentality. She often says to me,”Dorothy, I absolutely refuse to become a nasty old lady in my elder years. I don’t want my children to remember me that way!” She has seen some of her friends become demanding, impatient, and ungrateful. It has had a profound effect on her. She unwaveringly sets her mind each day to not become that way. She decided instead to focus on all she had to be grateful for.
This is how we learn to live in the moment. We can choose to embrace the season that we are in. It is a choice we need to make every day, just like my mom has. She refuses to be a victim even though she is legally blind and needs to be in a wheelchair for any outside activities. Each day as she wakes, she counts her blessings and thanks God for another day of life. She is grateful that she is surrounded by a family who loves her dearly, that she has clarity of mind and most of all, that Jesus is her Lord and Savior.
This is my hope for you and me. That we will let go of what is behind us, the things we cannot change and stop worrying about what lies ahead. Let us embrace today and live our life to the fullest as we live in the moment and make the most of the abundant life Jesus bought for us on the cross.