Are you living in the past?
Each day will have its own share of challenges, difficulties, rewards and achievements-why should we complicate matters by dragging our regrets of the past and fears of the future into the present?
Life has to be lived in the present!
Living in the present maximises all the possibilities that life offers to us. We are able to focus on what is happening around us and savour all those little joys and pleasures that are available in the here-and-now.
Let’s take the everyday example of someone who goes to bed after a long day of hard work. As everyone will agree, the moment when one puts ones head on the pillow is indeed a wonderful and welcome moment. We feel that we have ‘earned’ the rest and repose that is now rightfully ours. I, for one, recommend to my friends that this should be a moment of peace, reflection and prayer. I urge them to go over the day that is done, quickly remembering their acts of commission and omission, thank God for all the day has brought to them, and then slip into sleep, surrendering the thread of their life in God’s hands. Go through the day but do not dwell on the day’s errors and mishaps. I do not ask you to erase the past but you must not continue to dwell on the past to the detriment of the present and the future. Chances are, if you go over the events of the day again and again, you will lose a peaceful night’s sleep.
The same can be said of waking up to a new day: let’s assume you have a tough, busy day ahead. Do not let the tension of your busy schedule grip you at the moment you awaken from sleep. Savour all the joy and promise that the new day holds for you, as you come into wakefulness. Realise what it means to have a brand new day gifted to you by God-surely, it is a sign of His hope for you, an opportunity to move closer to your goal in life. So, begin the day with gratitude to the Lord, and a short prayer to Him. Don’t forget that a new day is breaking in all its splendour and glory just outside your window. Savour the beauty of the dawn, the music of the early birds and the fresh air of the morning. Why should anyone throw away these golden moments just because there are a few meetings and business deals ahead?
The past is over and done with; the future is in God’s hands; the best that anyone can do is to live in the present, wisely and well. As the proverb says, “Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” In other words, the day will have its own share of challenges, difficulties, rewards and achievements-why should we complicate matters by dragging our regrets of the past and fears of the future into the present?
"Do not let the tension of your busy schedule grip you at the moment you awaken from sleep. Savour all the joy and promise that the new day holds for you, as you come into wakefulness"
The trouble with most of us is, we hardly ever dwell on the happy experiences that we have had in the past. Most of us seem to harbour a permanent love affair with the sorrows and regrets and failures of the past! We hug these bitter memories to ourselves constantly, refusing to let go of the bitter past. In a beautiful sonnet on the theme of remembrance, Shakespeare compares this attitude to repaying old debts that have already been settled long ago.
Imagine that you have taken a housing loan, and have paid it off diligently over a period of years. After the whole thing is over, will you keep transferring money to your loan account just because you like to dwell on your own past? Is that not futile and foolish, apart from being a waste of your money? So, why dwell on past memories that are negative and bitter? This too, is emotional waste of a high order!
Some people get accustomed to bitterness through this habit of negative memories. They get so used to sadness and depression that hope and joy cannot ‘agree’ with them anymore. As I have said to you repeatedly, we are what we think. Our thoughts become patterns; these patterns influence our actions; our actions, when repeated, become habits; our habits gradually constitute our behaviour and our behaviour over a period of time, colours our character and personalities.
Let us therefore hand ourselves, our problems and perplexities, our trials and tribulations -over to God. What then is there for us to fear? God walks with us today and He is sure to take care of the morrow. When this thought is held in the mind all fear departs.