"God's end is to enable me to see that He can walk on the chaos of my life just now. If we have a further end in view, we do not pay sufficient attention to the immediate present: if we realize that obedience is the end, then each moment as it comes is precious." --Oswald Chambers for July 28th
When I was a stinky hippy (and I do mean stinky because this girl didn't shave her pits at one time) I had two friends named Mike and Jeremy. They were inseparable and completely attached at the hip. So much so that their names became one whenever I told people who I was hanging out with: MikeN'Jer. I know that God protected me through my time with them, even though it was one of the least wholesome times of my life. I actually learned something of value with them, too.
The reason I bring this up is because of a book I read that belonged to Mike. It was a very New Age, very 'hippie' book called "Be Here Now" by Ram Dass. Now, before you run with the notion that I've lost it to a faux-Hindu worldview, I bring you to my point: The title of the book. I didn't get much further than that in understanding the purpose of the publication. I really wasn't interested in the yoga and the meditation on my naval and all that nonsense. But I did see the value of embracing the moment. While there isn't much good living in a vacuum of a few seconds or even an hour, a day holds so much that God can make a thousand years out of it. I'm glad for the influence of MikeN'Jer when it came to appreciating every tiny little thing. We didn't get much done or feel very complete in our depravity, but we did have loads of fun together. Now I find myself paying close attention to the "small things" and pulling all the meaning out of each moment. It is really the way of the child... When I have a destination in mind I am out the door and in the van before my body even reaches those places. So it frustrates me when my three-year-old girl and 19-month-old boy take more than thirty seconds to cross the porch and then get caught up in the intricacies of a dandelion seedhead. I reach boiling point, standing there in mid-motion, stuck in a child's world-sized moment while in my mind I am already driving to my first errand. No wonder I get so upset with them! I am trying to keep up with the demands of the day and I am missing the peaceful opportunities that would bring me fuel for the journey. Be. Here. Now. It is a discipline that is only perfected when we forget about the ticking clock and let God keep the pace of our day. The destination is of little importance if we miss life in the meantime. How many times have you heard someone say, "Enjoy it now, because it goes by so fast!"? Sometimes I want to respond, "No it doesn't." Not when I am in toddler time! Because while my child needs to obey me when it's truly time to hurry, I also need to obey God when it's time to slow down. Is it really that urgent that I get to the Post Office five minutes earlier? Have I left enough time in the day for my children to see more than a blur of each place we go? What am I teaching them about life when I let stress propel me from task to task?
Be. Here. Now. The present is where we experience God's presence.