Self-forgetfully in the here and now

On New Year’s Day I made a resolution that this would be “The Year of Now” for me. In other words, I would do what the moment brings not dwell on the past or hope for the future, but simply live in the now. I didn’t want to miss the richness in each and every moment. I’ve been doing much better about being present in the moment. In fact, I wouldn’t be blogging right now if I weren’t committed to the present. It is quiet here in my house and I have no one demanding my attention so I can be writing this post. In about an hour and a half, though, my second son is coming with a grandchild and I will be “on” for 4 hours before I go to work at the hospital. It is difficult not to run around and “prepare” for their coming, but I’m not going to. When they come, I will be with them. Now I am watching my mother bird outside my sun room window as I type. She is watching over her baby birds. She has her back to me so I couldn’t get a good picture of her to share today.

I am reading a book entitled Longing for Enough in a Culture of More by Paul Escamilla. Today there was a quote by Tilden Edwards at the beginning of Chapter 5. I think it is helping me live in the now:

There is enormous value in Eastern and Western spiritual disciplines, but they guarantee nothing. Their value is greatest when they help us lighten our greedy, self-serious striving–when they free us to be self-forgetfully, gently, simply present, here and now…

Tilden Edwards is an Episcopal priest who is the founding director of Shalem Institute, a for-profit organization set up to refute “A belief system (we call it contemplative spirituality or the new spirituality) that has embedded itself into Christianity that has a foundation and premise (also called Spiritual Formation by many) that is New Age. This site is our attempt to warn others about it. We do this because we love the Lord and His gospel message, and we care about people.”

Well, I don’t know if I agree with all of Dr. Edwards’ criticisms. He comes down hard on books I’ve found helpful like The Shack and The Purpose-Driven Life, but I do stand with him on the issue of presence for fully living. He’s also given me a perspective for some issues I have struggled with as I have tried to live in the “now”. One issue was what to do with the “me” in the “now”. He says we should be “self-forgetfully, gently, simply present, here and now…” Yes that was a missing piece for me. Living in the now is not about what I want in the present, but about what I see others need now. As I look back at the 5 months of intentionally living in the “now,” I can see I was doing that, but sometimes struggling with the concept of delaying my desires because another had a need. Taking the now out of the realm of my desires makes all the difference in my mind and, therefore, my perspective. There will no longer be this angst because as I fulfill the needs of others that are placed before me in the here and now, I will get the desires of my heart. That’s Jesus’ whole message and He was the fulfillment of the Law.

Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. Ps 37:4

Is this making any sense?

Ah well, I’m off to Reptileland with my family now. They are having a special butterfly exhibit and they’ve set up robotic dinosauers, too! Plus, there is a really neat Crocodile Cafe there where we can get a wholesome lunch.

I hope your day is full of the wonders of the Lord,

Dawn

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4 comments on “Self-forgetfully in the here and now

  1. I don’t know if I have ever grasped what the true balance between thinking of oneself and thinking of others is to be. It seems we need both in their proper places. I want to learn more and more about what that should look like.

    • Dear A.,

      This is a tough one for me, too. Even Jesus had a moment in the Gospels where his disciples tried to get Him to rest because they thought He was overdoing it. It is in Mark and is only one verse. I will try to find it tomorrow. It is getting late and I want to respond to all your wonderful comments.

      Dawn

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