Life in the Present

Living life in the present is living the spiritual life.

Being attentive to the person across from you without already formulating a response while she is speaking is truly listening. It is living in the present, not being anxious. And when this happens we are at our best because we are ourselves.

Living in the present is not being self-conscious and so it is for the most part an impossible feat. To consciously attempt living in the present is the surest way of failing to do so.

Listening to a particular strain of Handel, a hymn, a chorus or an old Van Morrison song we leave ourselves behind and find ourselves in the moment. Losing ourselves in a Van Gogh, a Monet or a Bateman, or while walking through a garden or hiking on a cliff edge at dusk are moments brought to a point. Losing ourselves in the burden of another is a taste of timelessness which is another word for eternity. And what do all these moments that aren’t moments have in common? They are all acts of worship. They are worship in spirit and truth.

We hear it often, we’ve all said and meant it, we’ve all desired it when we said it…that little√ā¬†Christian maxim, and we nod, but we don’t really know what it means unless, it seems, we are thrown into perulous circumstance. Then, wanting to or not, life becomes focused to a point.

Jesus said we should do it, and reading this aright we might understand it is much more than a suggestion. Take no thought of tomorrow, he said. You have enough on your plate today.

What does striving, worry do to us? It forces us into a place that isn’t, a place that doesn’t exist. It is nowhere posing as now-here. Our only possession, and it really isn’t a possession, is this moment.

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