Friday, August 19, 2011

Living In The Now

Are you a dreamer like I am? I have had dreams and desires tucked away in my heart for many, many years longing to see them fulfilled. I can honestly say that I am now starting to realize some of them. Through trying circumstances, life has led me to live more from my heart. In many ways I am deeply fulfilled, yet like many people in today's economy, it hasn't been without a price. While living out desires is great, I must be honest and admit that sometimes I am left wondering where daily provision will come from. Such lack can lend itself to anxiety and fear at times.
During such times, I find it crucial to gain perspective and examine if I am on the right course. This week has been such a week. Today I took the time to beckon the Father for wisdom and insight. What I received encouraged me, so I thought I would pass it on in hopes of encouraging you as well.
A little background may help: I am coming off about three months of fulfilling ministry and provision opportunities. I was encouraged to see such consistency and fruitfulness. Things seemed to be rolling forward. Then without warning, while driving down the highway of life at a steady speed, someone seemingly slammed on the brakes... Screech! It all came to a sudden stop! I was awakened to the reality of having no visible opportunities on the radar before me... I needed insight and wisdom!
Hoping to get some very clear answers as to what to do about the needs of tomorrow, I instead heard this:
"Focus on today, leave tomorrow to me."
'What? That isn't helping me figure out how to keep the electricity on this month? I need answers!' I wrestled within myself. Yet a strange peace filled my heart as I wrote out the following, as a secretary might do when assigned to take notes from the boss:
"Enjoy Now. Enjoy Your family, friends. Enjoy what is before you today. Today is what belongs to you. Live it! Tomorrow is still unknown. Tomorrow is yet to happen for you. Today is what you have now. Enjoy it! I have tomorrow all taken care of."
Yeah I know: 'That sounds good, but will it pay the bills? If only there was a bank that would exchange encouraging words for cash!' I decided to yield. 'OK, I'll listen!'
"I am wanting to teach you the key to abundant life. It is found in enjoying today, enjoying now. Now is where life is. Now is where My kingdom is. Now is where I AM. Now is where you are. Now is where love is, joy is, fulfillment is."
I take it I am to start learning how to live in the now! Quick learner, huh?
"The world, influenced by the father of lies, wants you to believe that happiness is found tomorrow - by planning for the next event or form of gratification. That is fleeting at best. This type of thinking only leads to anxiety, fear, denial, depression, despair, disillusionment, discouragement, lack of fulfillment... So much time is spent thinking about tomorrow, that today is lost. Now is ignored while longing for someday in the future to come. Someday never comes and all of the today's and nows are gone."
Ouch! How many today's and Nows have I lost? Too many...
"Live today. Live now. Enjoy the life that is before you. Today is where you are. Enjoy today. Live today, love today, laugh today, play today, feel today... Be who you are today and enjoy now with me. I have tomorrow. You live today!"
I Know. I can almost hear it: 'OK, that's great, but don't we have to plan for tomorrow?' Perhaps our idea of planning is in need of some refinement: God's idea of 'planning' is abiding in Him, leaning upon His chest, seeking Him, obeying Him, trusting Him, doing what the Father says to do... He sees the future (we don't). He has the master plan (we don't). He knows the beginning from the end, and He is a faithful Father who will never leave us nor forsake us. Our job, is to trust him!
I know, easier said than done! Agree! That's why I am writing this blog! I'm living in such tension even Now. :-)
Perhaps Jesus' written word can help encourage us all:
"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." Matthew 6:25-34
Following Jesus sure isn't easy! Yet, He is the source of life! I don't know about you, but I still need to learn the art of living in the Now!
Enjoy The Journey!