These words from Fr. Michael Schleupner resonate for many, especially as we focus on goals for the new year. Let’s read more about the importance of being present in the moment.
It is now the moment. ~Romans 13:11
On New Year’s Day, these words of Saint Paul reminded us to focus on the present. Sometimes we can get stuck in the past. We may find ourselves longing for the good old days when everything seemed just right. Or we may get fixated on some mistake that we made, maybe something sinful, that we regret and just cannot forgive ourselves for doing.
On the other hand, sometimes we get consumed with the future. We may be carried away with eagerness for this or that to happen because then, everything will be alright. Or we may be filled with anxiety about what will happen next month or next year.
The problem with our being absorbed in the past or the future is that we may not really be living in the present.
So, yes, it is important to be aware of the past and to learn what we can from it. Maybe we can learn from our missing opportunities to be with our children and resolve to make sure that we do our best to really be with those in our life right now.
It is also important to be aware of the future and the challenges that lie ahead. Maybe we can choose to spend our money wisely, sticking closer to needs than wants, and try to save something for retirement.
So, on the one hand, we need to avoid getting absorbed in the past or the future. On the other hand, we need to be aware of what has happened and what probably lies ahead so that we can live the present moment well and fully.
Mary, the Mother of Jesus, is a great example here. Mary seems to sift through the confusion of her recent past and the uncertainty of her future. And the result is that she lives the present moment with trust in God.
One author says it this way: So, “…Be attentive to time and the way you spend it. Nothing is more precious…God, the master of time, never gives the future. He gives only the present, moment by moment, for this is the law of the created order.”
~Father Michael Schleupner
*Quotation from The Cloud of Unknowing by an anonymous 14th century contemplative author.