These are all signs that Spring is coming. The seasons are changing, moving forward, as seasons always do.
Time marches on. Nothing stops time. The future is something we never will reach. It will always been “out there,” just beyond our grasp. We live in the “now,” in the “present.”
It’s taken me a long time to realize that I will never reach the future. It has taken me a long time to learn to live in the moment. To live in the “now.”
I still haven’t learned that lesson fully.
I’ve wasted so much time, days, years even, looking ahead, striving to the future, making plans for “some day” that I’ve missed so much, so many blessings, so much of God in my life in the “moment.”
I’ve “worked for the weekend”; I’ve planned for the day that I would be married (even when I wasn’t even dating someone!); I’ve looked ahead to what “will be” someday; and I missed the beauty of a Spring thaw. I’ve missed the glory of wind-blown grass on a summer afternoon. I’ve missed the awe of a crisp Autumn evening.
I’ve spent nearly my entire adult life proclaiming the eternal love of God in Christ Jesus and yet I’ve missed the Truth of the “eternal moment” of God.
God doesn’t have a beginning. God doesn’t have an end. God is an eternal “now.” There is no future with God. There has been no past with God. Not for me. Not really.
Okay, yes, I have a past with God. I had confirmation classes, pre-seminary days, seminary life, and seventeen years as a pastor.
And yes, I must recognize that I will be in heaven “some day.”
But that is only because I’m trapped in a timeline. I’m trapped in a finite life.
But at the same time, I’m not trapped at all. I’ve been freed from this timeline, this finite life. Because I have given up my sinful human nature. It no longer defines who I am.
It is no longer I who live – the “I” that had a conception, birth, and will one day die. Who I am is now defined by Christ who lives in me.
I have been given eternity when water was splashed on me and a pastor said “Edward Albert, I baptize you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”
Sometimes I look back into my past. And sometimes I wish I could go back to “then” with what I know now.
But I can’t. I can only live in the now. Sometimes I live in the “now” with regret over what I’ve done, said, or not done in the past.
But I am encouraged when God reminds me that I live in the “now” with a “tool box” of experience from my past. All the things I’ve done in the past – many of which I’m ashamed of, not proud of – those experiences I possess, I own, to help me to live now.
I can’t go back. I can’t change what I’ve done or not done. But I can live – really live – now.
I need to remember this. And remember it more often that I do at the present.
Someone else’s future may depend on it!
It will take deliberate action on my part, and it is something that I’m praying for and will try to remember to do.
Live in the now. Live in the moment. Enjoy the presence of God in the present of God.