“The present moment, if you think about it, is the only time there is. No matter what time it is, it is always now.”MARIANNE WILLIAMSON
I’ve been catching moments of recent. You never know when it’s going to happen, but I have come to realize that it is something that we each have the opportunity to enjoy on any given day at any given moment. My first catch occurred about a week ago when I was playing golf. I walked the course that day and as late morning grew into afternoon it became warm enough to play in shirtsleeves. The breeze was gentle and the sun was warm. I sat for a moment after playing the third hole (which I did not play particularly well) and looked out over the course. Signs of spring were abundant; the grass was becoming increasingly green, and budding forsythia and dogwoods gave color to the landscape. I simply paused, took in the landscape, felt the warmth of the sun, smelled spring in the air, smiled and said, “Thank-you for the gift!” A second moment occurred yesterday afternoon when I was able to sit in my son’s den, put my arms around my three grandchildren, and watch some pre-dinner TV. I have no idea what we were watching, I was simply lost in a moment with the three of them; another smile and, “Thank-you for the gift!”
Tony Fahkry is a contributor at Mission.org. His recent post, How to Embrace the Gift of the Present Moment examines the challenges associated with staying in the moment, when we are continually inundated with noises and distractions that whisper, “Keep moving, you have too much to do. Stop now, even for moment and there is something that won’t get done!” (As I write my watch alarm goes off and reminds me to “breathe”) He shares, “It is the lure of the future being better than the present that most excites us. We transition from one moment to another, hoping the next will be better but rarely is it that way. We move from one thing to the next without truly savoring the experience of the present moment.” So how do we change this pattern, how do we learn to appreciate the moment and find the gifts, even when the problems are more apparent?
Stop Craving the Next Thing – The next thing is something to be found in the future; a time that will be filled with its own problems and challenges. Why do we believe that our happiness or contentment is to be found in the future and not in the present moment? We become like mice in a maze; searching for a way out, but continually finding dead ends. We become so accustomed to yearning for something bigger and better that we lose the ability to recognize the gifts inherent at the moment, and that becomes a moment lost.
Draw From the Power of the Moment – Often gifts to be found in the moment become evident as we face challenges and problems. All it takes is a little perspective. Two weeks ago I had surgery to remove seven significant skin cancers. The subsequent biopsies revealed positive margins remain in two areas; more surgery is in my future. I was not happy camper. Today I played golf with a new friend, Ed. He shared that he was diagnosed with melanoma a few years ago and has been pursuing immunotherapy ever since. He’s retired now and enjoys each and every day. Ed’s approach to life demonstrates the choices we have. We can get caught up in our misfortune and suffering, and wishfully run toward pleasure (which we will not find), or lean into the problem, accept it, and know that it contains the seed of something extraordinary that makes us thankful for the moment; like Ed did for me today. “Thank-you for the gift!”
Be Aware and Awake – A Vietnamese Buddhist monk writes:, “Life can be found only in the present moment. The past is gone, the future is not yet here, and if we do not go back to ourselves in the present moment, we cannot be in touch with life.” Being aware and awake can start with a simple act of gratitude by taking a moment to disconnect from everything (including our electronic devices), considering all for which we have to be grateful, and expressing our gratitude. There you have it, you found a moment, but this is only a beginning. Fahkrey shares, If you seek happiness, it will can only be found in the present moment, not in a mobile app. Be mindful of what is taking place in your immediate environment for that is the true source of happiness.
Yesterday has passed and tomorrow is a gamble; today is your gift. The question is, will you catch the moment needed to unwrap it and discover all it has to offer? If you do, I’m certain that like me you will smile and say, “Thank-you for the gift!”
EMBRACE THE CHALLENGE