Life, Living In the Moment, Time

Living In the Moment

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A funny thing happened on the way home from the ACFW conference last Monday. God gave me the gift of sitting next to an author I highly respect. After I got past my “fan-girl” moments, we both rested for a bit.

Instead of “sleeping” the entire flight, she engaged me in conversation after she awoke. Whenever I have the opportunity to chat with a woman further along in life than myself, I love to glean from her lessons and experiences.

We talked about a number of topics, but one thing that has stayed with me is the thought of “being in the moment.”

I’m hardwired to be an organizer. My goal is to stay two steps in front of life so it doesn’t steamroll over me. The advantage to this is I’m usually on time to appointments and it keeps my stress level lower. The disadvantage I’m discovering, is that I seldom live fully in the moment. In trying to stay ahead of the day’s happenings, I don’t stop to enjoy the current moment.

I’ve missed moments with my boys.

At the end of a school day, they run their energetic selves through the front door.  “Mom! Mom!” flies in the air, and they launch into tales from their day. They come in ready to talk, to connect with their arms open for a hug.

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Sometimes, my first response is, “Let’s get moving. Gotta get ready for __________.”

I’m there in body, but I’m not living the moment. I lose out on hearing about the joys and the heartaches of their days.

When I’m living in the “almost here” rather than the present, I miss out on . . .

. . . Enjoying my husband’s arms around my waist for an extra moment . . .

. . . Just watching the rain fall,

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. . . Letting the brilliant colors of an autumn sunrise stir me,

. . . Wrapping myself up in a friend’s laughter.

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In my busy-ness, it’s hard to slow down and simply . . . be.

I want to be “all there” in the moment I’m living in. Savoring it, feeling it.

It’s not easy to do this, to slow my thoughts, to turn them off, even. But, this is my necessary “must” if I’m going to revel in the moment.

There’s a time for organizing, for being prepared. There’s also a time to set aside my plans, my “Let’s go!” to connect in the moment, especially with my family.

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It runs against the grain of my nature, sanding me down, smoothing me out.

Maybe that’s why God has only given us one moment at a time in which to live.

Your turn: How are you at living in the moment? Is it easy or difficult for you?

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13 thoughts on “Living In the Moment”

  1. I’m pretty good at living in the moment, actually – it comes from many years of Zen Buddhist practice, starting as a teenager.

    Odd thing is – my childhood and teenage years were pretty horrible, and I used Zen to live in a moment that left ‘present circumstances’ behind. That’s almost a koan…living in a moment that is not the moment, yet they are the same…

    The other aspect of life that has strengthened my ability to live in the moment is combat. There is nothing quite so warm-fuzzy-secure as being in secure defilade and hearing bullets chip away at the top of a culvert, but unable to reach you. Of course, in that situation I was stuck – I couldn’t leave without getting shot! But ‘in the moment’ everything was fine, and I literally put my feet up and had something to eat. Weird, isn’t it?

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    1. It’s always interesting to see how different life experiences teach us how to live. You’ve had some extremely difficult things to overcome, and you’ve learned invaluable lessons from them. It sounds to me like when you were secure in the defilade, you knew you were secure, so you were able to live without worrying about those bullets, yes?

      Hmmm, your thoughts make me think that perhaps part of “living in the moment” happens when we aren’t worried about what’s coming next.

      Thanks for sharing your perspective today, Andrew!

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  2. One of my pre-planned mindsets at ACFW was to “Be IN the moment I’m in”. It may have appeared that I was floating around, all lah-dee-dah, but I had a tightly organized schedule in my briefcase. The schedule gave me a frame work of order that I clung to like a rock climber on El Capitan. BUT, I was also aware that anything could happen, to be ready for divine appointments and to BE there if one of my friends needed me.

    Before ACFW, I had 10 days of family vacation. LOTS of drama.
    Then, I came home, recovered, and a week later, prepped for back-to-school and …then got a rejection email.
    I crawled through the preparation for ACFW, on my knees the whole time.

    I spent the weekend at ACFW, IN the moment I was in. Which was hard, because I was waiting all weekend for a certain 9am Sunday morning appointment. I soaked up whatever I could and I skipped whatever I needed to. I didn’t want to get overwhelmed, nor did I want to miss anything,so I allowed myself time alone in my room, or time with my room mate. While at ACFW, God met me wherever I was and blessed me beyond anything I had imagined.

    There, I HAD to immerse myself in the experience and be ready for whatever came up.

    Here? I’m struggling to tighten my MS and send it off to where I’m sure it’ll get schooled and sent back, bruised, but better. I have a wicked cold and I feel like the inside of an old tuna can. This moment is not fun.

    But God never sets up to fail, does He? He sets us up to bring Him glory, whether by the moment we’re in, or the one He’s readying us for.

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    1. Jennifer you bring a good point. We must be purposeful about being in the moment. And you are a wise woman, you planned ahead so you could live in each moment at ACFW.

      And, as you tighten up your manuscript, send it away and get it back with fixes that will make your story shine, you’ll be in each moment it takes to get it ready for all God has for your story—and for you.

      And, I loved your last line: “He sets us up to bring Him glory, whether by the moment we’re in, or the one He’s readying us for.” Such a great truth.

      I hope you feel better soon, my friend!

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  3. Awesome thought Jeanne! I’m finding it more difficult to live in the moment. Seems I always have to be doing something or sleeping. Living in the moment is going to take some thought, and I like that. The Lord also reminded me that kids live with exuberance, and I need to live for Him exuberantly! It should pervade much of my day! Hmmmmmm.

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