“Always Wanting Another Now”

Lao Tzu

I had a wonderful conversation today with my dear friend Monique, my old walking partner.  I walked on the beach while she pushed her stroller through unseasonably warm Farmington.

We talked about how we fall into the trap of always wanting another “now,” when this moment is the only one we can live in.  We spend all our energy striving for future change and “progress,” but paradoxically, we only progress as we accept and pay attention to the moment we are living in, rather than wasting this moment wishing for another one, a different kind of now.

This moment is the only one where we have a body and can act and choose to be wise, kind, and grateful.  Yet we so often mentally leave this moment to fear, strive, worry, and plot our future or lament our past. But in the past and in the future we are paralyzed, because we can never live there.  It literally takes away our God-given body to always have our mind in the past or the future where we cannot act.  How ironic that we come and have this physical experience only to end up spending all our time disembodied—mentally the past or future where we are powerless—our eyes closed to the moment’s lesson God has already provided for us here, in the one place we can act, in this very moment.

Our intellectual mind wants to know the plan–sure, we trust there is a divine program going on, but could we just see the whole blueprint first just in case?

I think it is a matter of trust–do we trust that God can provide this moments lesson here and now, where we can work with it, and that the lesson is the right one for us?

Why do we assume that our own weaknesses or past mistakes can derail the Divine ability to make this flawed moment the perfect teacher? Can we trust that God is big enough to make this imperfect moment and our flawed self into the perfect lesson?

And wasn’t that the beautiful, painful, grace-filled plan from the beginning?

The circumstances and players of this moment in my life is both irrelevant (because all moments have divine power to teach so much), and also so very important (because this moment holds the most relevant and perfect lesson I need in this moment).  My moment’s lessons, when I stop to look, breathe, and feel my body from the inside, are often exactly what I need, I learn that I am safe, that there is beauty, that I am held.

This kind of post I usually reserve for my other blog with spiritual thoughts, but this idea of not wanting another now is so critical to this experiment.  To learn from this, I have to be here in both mind and body, and it’s strange how hard that can be in this crazy world.


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