“There’s nothing special about the present moment except that it is all we have.”
– Charles Genoud
The concept of being present with God revolutionized my life. I learned the secret of living in the present moment with God. In a relationship with God, an essential truth regarding time became apparent. I can only “ be” present with God in the now or the present moment. In the eternity of God, the time has neither beginning nor end. Time in the mind of man is a three-dimensional world consisting of the past, present, and future. We experience time in years, months, and days. Wrap your mind around your life experiences. They are all in the past, and even the previous second is gone forever. Future time is even more nebulous to our psyche as it exists as an illusion. It is an illusion we give permanence too. Also though the next second is the future, we would rather live with the expectation the future is a better place to live than right now. When we live in the future, we try and avoid the painful reality of life today. We pretend we never die by postponing death somewhere in the future.
The future produces the hope we will realize our unfulfilled dreams. We say, “ I will be happy tomorrow when I meet the right person or get the job and career meant for me.” Once, however, you meet the right person and get the perfect job you wanted, you now need a new car or a larger house to be happy. The future creates much of our suffering, for we are in constant search of something we think will satisfy us, but in reality, never will. How can it? How can anything we want in the future bring anything except dissatisfaction in the present moment? Would it help to understand that seeking any lasting satisfaction in the future is no different than the foolish nonsense of chasing ghosts that don’t exist? We live dissatisfied in the present moment, thinking the next moment is the pathway to contentment and happiness. We live not in the fullness of the moment but dwell on the thoughts about the past or future. The past and the future do not exist. There is bitterness over our past and with anxiety for the fantasy of the future, which may never come. If we enjoy anytime at all, we enjoy the present moment or the present now.
In each moment, your attitudes and thoughts about life are present in your mind. It is essential to understand you will never be any more peaceful or contented than you are right now in this present moment. The present moment is coming, going, and gone in an instantaneous spit second. If you hold any time in your life, it is the present now and nothing more. Richard Rohr shares, “The way you are, is the way you will be. How you do life today is how you will do life tomorrow. If you are unhappy today, you will be unhappy tomorrow.” An observation I made at the grocery store, without fail, I pick the shortest line with the most extended wait. So I prepare myself by saying, “If I am unhappy at the back of the line, I won’t be happier at the front of the line.” There are two people in front of me; the first one in line has a personal check and waits till the last second to pull it out and pay. The next person’s credit card doesn’t work. When I practice the present moment, I know this is what God has for me right now. I can be content at the moment. I can smile and be helpful because I am not trying to change them, fix them, or criticize them. If I am honest, their actions are no different from what I have done countless times. The question remains, would I be happier at the front of the line instead of the back of the line? The correct answer is no.
Humanity refuses to live in the now and values only the past and the future. The Father promised His presence and relationship with us every single moment of life. The present moment is the Eternal Now of God. When I repeat the phrase “ be still and know I am God,” I think about the “be” enjoying the God of all creation. When I am still, and there is nothing but God, I have all of nature in my heart and mind. There is no need for anything more! Be still and know that I am God. Be still and know that I am. Be still and know. Be still. Be.