“The only thing that is ultimately real about your journey is the step that you are taking at this moment. That’s all there ever is.”
– Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now
My mind doesn’t power down. I think it’s normal. I hope it is.
I remember something said yesterday. I plan for needs of tomorrow.
It’s okay to think of past and future. Even necessary. Some of the time.
But most of the time, I need to stay in the now. Isn’t that what Jesus said to do?
“Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.”
Matthew 6:34 (The Message)
But I don’t do it well. I drift naturally toward keeping my head in the future, so staying predominantly centered in the now is a struggle.
- To pay attention to God in THIS day
- To be aware of him in THIS situation
- To focus on what he’s put in from of me in THIS moment
So here’s what’s helping lately.
It’s thoughts from Eckhart Tolle in his book, The Power of Now. Not everything in the book is useful to me (and some seem downright wacky, to me anyway), but these items below strike me as true to what Jesus teaches. And truth is truth wherever it’s found.
1. Work with, not against
“Accept — then act. Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it. Make it your friend and ally, not your enemy.”
2. Say “yes” to the present
“Whereas before you dwelt in time and paid brief visits to the Now, have your dwelling place in the Now and pay brief visits to past and future when required to deal with the practical aspects of your life situation. Always say ‘yes’ to the present moment.”
3. Remember grace is now
“Psychological fear is always of something that might happen, not of something that is happening now. You are in the here and now, while your mind is in the future. This creates an anxiety gap. . . . You can always cope with the present moment, but you cannot cope with something that is only a mind projection.”
4. Know God works here
“If you find your here and now intolerable and it makes you unhappy, you have three options: remove yourself from the situation, change it, or accept it totally. If you want to take responsibility for your life, you must choose one of those three options, and you must choose now. Then accept the consequences. No excuses. No negativity.”
5. Surrender in the moment
“Surrender is not weakness. There is great strength in it. Only a surrendered person has spiritual power. . . . Die to the past every moment. You don’t need it. Only refer to it when it is absolutely relevant to the present. Feel the power of this moment and the fullness of Being.”
God has proven faithful in the past, and he will be faithful in the future. God in this moment is all we need to be concerned about. It is enough.
This space is where he dwells. He is, after all, I AM. He’ll always be here.
Stay in the now.
* * *
Do you tend to think more about the past, the future, or this present moment? (I extend too far into the future.) Please share in the comments.
Another interesting book on time: The Time Paradox
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