How do you read the sentence above? Where do you insert the necessary spaces? Perhaps you see “You are now here.” On the other hand, you may have read “You are nowhere.”
I saw those letters inscribed in the pavement on a path around Town Lake in Austin not long ago. Most likely, my thoughts were wandering away from the moment, as they tend to do far too often. (I know, I’ve written about this before. It’s a point worth driving home yet again.) Here is how that cemented scribble struck me.
Perhaps we have a choice between the two interpretations. Either we are now here or we are nowhere. Perhaps if we are not living in the present moment, we aren’t really, fully living at all.
It’s so easy to leave the here and now. We look backwards, asking the could’ve, should’ve, would’ve questions that send us down a judgmental path of evaluating our own now finished words, choices, and accomplishments (or lack thereof). And for what? Does it help anything to rehash last night’s conversation and wonder if we were foolish or intelligent in our comments? Does it help to wonder endlessly what might have happened if we had chosen a different course of work or study in our youth, or settled in a different town or…
And then, of course, there’s all the “what if’s” and “how-am-I-going-to’s” that can draw us into a future that hasn’t yet arrived—another waste of time, most of the time.
I’ve been faced with a surprising set of health challenges lately. Boy, talk about the temptation to look behind! Could I have prevented this? Should I have gone to the doctor sooner? Would I have done something different if I had had more information? And then there are the future “worries” that try to sneak in and steal my joy. A dear friend, one facing similar challenges, said it best: “I wake up every morning and I say to myself, ‘This is the day the Lord has made, and I’m going to rejoice in it.'”
Do you feel good today? Praise God for that. If yesterday was a “disaster” or tomorrow is going to be tough, so be it. TODAY you feel good. Is today one of the tough days? Never mind what might have been done differently in the past. Time travel is not an option. Never mind whether or not you will face the same, or even greater, difficulty tomorrow. TODAY, God’s grace is sufficient. Always, He is kind, loving, and enough. So, today, you are now here!