Monday, April 26, 2010

Now

Trains pass by awaiting passengers to be leaving a streaking blur reminding them that they are not moving are being passed by. The world spins on its axis at such speeds we are actually acclimated to the velocity and no longer even feel this motion. The race is on and runners persist to tax their bodies to reach the end. A ribbon at the end seduces their mind and focus. Mental capacities are focused solely on getting through, moving on, progressing, finishing, etc. I admire this and agree that life is a race and we must endure and finish. What about now though? A definition of now should be clarified first.


Is any moment obtainable or a tangible element at all? Each moment is unique in its makeup, circumstance, environment, temperature, sensations, time, frequency, and duration. So something happening right now is the past by the time you have even read this sentence. Even trying to recreate this moment of reading would be a failed effort. There is no way to reproduce this moment because there are far too many variables involved to even come close. Time does not stand still therefore it cannot be captured. Time is not static in any sense of the word. This dynamic relationship between time and moment stands in a rare group of things that cannot be reproduced or held captive to anything unmoving. Now, used in this context, does not mean a specific time that is detainable. Now means a principle or general idea that is happening throughout a particular time and space. Like a football game compared to the moment when a wide receiver jumps to grab a ball thrown to him, now is not the small moment, but the whole game. This does not diminish the value of specific events within the now. Within this now independent, specific, intangible, and dynamic variables are formed correlatively. While these little variables are important what they create is superior and is the now.

Do runners miss the now of their marathon with their unwavering focus on the finish line? Does a college student miss out on the experience of now by rushing to graduate early and obtain scholarly honors? Isn’t there something beautiful about the wind, the surrounding environment, the technology in those shoes, the room in the toe box, the amazing ability for his body to respond to impacting concrete in a rhythmic motion so quickly, or the tempo of his breath? Isn’t there something beautiful missed is the finish line is the only thing in sight? Is there something lost in the constant spinning, running, turning, and business or life? If we are always trying to get somewhere we miss out on the now. What if there is something important to learn in this moment of now that we miss because we think it is not important in the grand scheme of things?

We’ve all heard that tomorrow is not promised, carpe diem, run the race of life and such; live life for today! Some abuse this to live recklessly or behave destructively. Run the race of life on the other hand as allowed others to become burdened down with just trying to reach something, graduating, getting to the next level, a promotion, or something bigger or better. This run the race mentality has become to some a burden that does not allow anyone to be satisfied in the now. Some believe living life like there is no tomorrow is foolish while still others who live life like there is no tomorrow think living life like a race in order to attain a certain goal or reach a destination is foolish. Is there a balance of these two seemingly opposing views? I don’t think Jesus would want anyone just living to get through or get by. Missing so much beauty, so much beauty created by God, can lead to a mechanical life. Jesus may also say something along the lines of not worrying about tomorrow (he actually did) though.

I’ll be transparent for a second and tell you my now. I was involved in a church plant very early in my faith and I believed in a lot of promises and relationships that proved themselves hollow. I walked away from this experience scarred and jaded a little towards the Christian religion. I got involved in another church plant and became really close friends with people that I put a lot of trust in. Through unfortunate circumstances that fell apart as well. I finally hobbled away from that experience bearing bruises. I enrolled in Bible College and learned to tear the bible apart like it was a text book and was surrounded by some who used this knowledge and learned way to manipulate. So my view of Christianity is jaded at best right now. There is hope though, I’ll write about that soon, but there are a ton of progressive things happening that are changing this jadedness to a better outlook. I was so focused on not being hurt or acknowledging I was in a bad place because I was determined to not let these minor speed bumps hinder my race, impede the process of winning my race. One day I essentially decided to sit down, stop the running, and just watch and learn, just experience the now, what I’m going through. I’ve learned a lot by being in the now. I’ve learned I’m hurt and as much as I run I cannot make myself stop hurting until I mourn and learn. I cannot learn if I’m solely focused on a finish or destination. Am I where I want to be spiritually, not exactly, but I know I will get there, I also know that God is in charge and will lead me and guide me through this and to where He wants me. Have I given up on any effort of my own? No, simply stated. I don’t read my bible often, nor have a stellar prayer life. I’m learning the reason behind why I’m not praying often or reading the bible right now. So I am in the now, I am being and learning, and enjoying life, not worrying about a destination or goal, per say, but am worrying about where I am, physically, emotionally, and spiritually, the now.

I don’t think my way is the right way, I’m sure there are things I could or could not do that would make things better or worse, but this is something I am going through, this is my now, no one else’s. The prize in this race is eternal life with God. I can’t help but stopping the race for a bit to just sit and learn though, maybe after this rest I will run stronger, harder, and longer. Maybe you are stuck in running, maybe you’ve been taught you always have to do better and get there faster. Maybe the race has become a burden, maybe you need rest. May you find rest and know that the now is perfectly ok, it is a great place to stop and look around. May you explore this now and not allow the race to be more of a burden that it was intended to be. Tomorrow is not promised so today should not be missed, even the little moments. May you not miss the now because your focus is somewhere else all the time.

Here are some passages I’ve based some of my thoughts on:
James 4:13-15- do not say today or tomorrow we’ll go here or there, but say that if the Lord wills we will. Life is a vapor.
Proverbs 27:1- don’t boast in a day, we don’t know what it will bring.
1 Corinthians 9:24- running the race as a to win, not without aim.
2 Timothy 4:7- fighting the good fight, finishing
Matthew 6:25-34- don’t worry about tomorrow

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