* My mother ever since I can remember when she has sent cards and given me gifts has always written, “Enjoy.” She did not write, “enjoy the past”, nor did she write, “enjoy the future.” She wanted me to enjoy the gift she had given me – right there and then.
* My sponsor in a recovery program years ago told me, “Look at your feet.” She wanted me to understand my feet indicated exactly where I was at the time – not in the past, and not in the future.
* A psychiatrist on the psychiatric unit I paid a visit to thanks to a life-threatening eating disorder told me this: “Depression is living in the past. Anxiety is living in the future.” In other words, he wanted me to learn to live in the present.
* A staff member at the eating disorders unit of a hospital I stayed in for about 5 weeks to address the eating disorder read us a book called, “The Precious Present.”
* My pastor said to me several months ago, “Ever since I’ve known you, you’ve been living in the yesterdays.”
I am sure there have been a zillion other teachers along the way, but the most recent one is actually a doctor I have known for years. When I visited him for what looked like a physical problem, I knew from the Lord it was not physical at all. Guess what he told me? And guess what he told me when I visited him six months later?
“You need to learn how to live in the present,” he said in no uncertain terms.
The present? Precious? I have spent most of my life living in the past or the future. Sad to say, neither one exists today. The past is over. The future has not yet arrived. And in the midst of it all, I have become a pro at missing the present.
The Bible tells us to rejoice in this day, but how can I do that if my mind is in the past or future? I cannot. But I can tell you this. I am learning!
And oh how precious it is to learn that the present truly is a gift – one to be unwrapped and enjoyed.
Psa 118:24 “This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.”