Tuesday, October 6, 2009

You'll Find a Gift in the Present!

How many times have you been so riddled with anxiety you couldn't think straight? I've been down that road more times than I care to admit. The best way to describe the root of anxiety is "the mind going in 2 or more directions at once."

What does that look like? Well, that often times looks like our daily life. We have kids that need to be fed, laundry, dishes, cooking, shopping, occasional bathing ;). The problem is, there is constantly "one more thing" to do before we can "relax."

How do we fix this? First, we recognize that what we're feeling is in fact anxiety. Then we identify the different "directions" in which we're being pulled. Then, STOP! SLOW DOWN to a snail's pace. Come into the "present." Make an effort to stop thinking...you will find peace, and comfort there. You will also find God there!

The best way to become "present-minded" is to go out into nature. Nature is very present; it cannot help but be present. Watch the ind blow through the trees and consider the source of the wind. Watch a bee collect pollen from a flower. Watch the ants...you can never, not find ants here in sunny Florida. You will find that for just a brief moment you won't be thinking about anything but what you're seeing...everything pressing will melt away. This is the gift of the present.

I have realized God resides in the present! A lot of times we get stuck in the past...past hurts, pat hang ups, past habits. The past is a dangerous place for Christians to hang out. Reminiscing about past hurts just brings about anger, pain, and judgement. We have to remember, "there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ."

Even more often, we have a tendency to be future-minded. "I'll be happy when..." Or, I'm worried about this, this, and this. I've learned a valuable lesson about living in the future. First of all, as I said before, God resides in the present, not the past, not the future. Worrying about what's going to happen later today, tomorrow, or at the end of the week or month is not only anxiety-provoking, but it's ungodly. The Bible says,

"Don't worry about anything; instead pray about everything. Tell God
what you need and thank Him for all he has done. Then you
will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can
understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in
Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7

So, stop reliving the past, stop trying to control the future, and start living here and now...in the present.

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