Last week was pretty rainy. One evening of these wet, chilly days I was chatting with a wonderful person. She was marveling at the budding spring nature and my reply was “as soon as this rain is over we can really enjoy it”. It’s already been almost a week since and I am still embarrassed by my comment. I can’t be such a whiner!? We were surrounded by God’s lush greenery yet I was talking about how the sun is not shining. At my age, you’d think I’d know the sun can’t always be shining. And it surely will shine again. So it was totally unnecessary to whine and spread negative thoughts. Because I was so horrified by my own comment I’ve been pondering this ever since and it has taught me something invaluable and that’s why I can say: right now is good. No matter what, now is good. May it be my motto from now on.
This is the day that the Lord has made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it.
(Psalm 118:24, NRSV,*)
Maybe the most awful thing about my comment was that it revealed the “once this happens, then” thought pattern. Once the rain stops, then everything will be fine. But if we always focus on what could be better, we don’t enjoy what we have. Or if we always prepare for the future, we don’t live in the present. And we cumulate years of passive living. I would hate that because I want to live fully. But do I do so only in theory?
The “Once this happens, then” thinking kills the joy of living. Then we would only accept something that is ready or perfect. Then we could finally be pleased and enjoy life. I don’t want to represent that kind of thinking and I do not want to live that way either. That’s why I was so shocked by my comment. Because incompleteness is beautiful and imperfectness is life. Right now is good.
Right now is good
Thankfully God forgives and helps us in the process. He reminds us of what is important. God calls us to live and revel in the moment. We can connect with God only in the present, that’s what this is the best moment. Right now is good. No matter how tiring, messy, uncertain or taxing life is, right now is good.
What helps me in this process, is counting my blessings. When we face difficulties we tend to start performing life (instead of living it) and we lose the heart-rending beauty of the present moment. Too often we get stuck with this kind of performance mode and we forget to be fully present. Then we miss the life we’ve been given to live and experience.
This is what I was thinking as my family and I was driving 100 kilometers east and back this weekend. A “Once this happens, then” thinker would focus on getting there, the lover of the present moment focuses instead on enjoying and thanking God for the journey. For the sunshine, for the presence of loved ones, the hum of the car, lush nature, peace of Sunday. Gratitude helps us to lift our heads to see all the good things in our lives. And there is so much goodness even in the worst of days.
Right now is good.
In the middle of a renovation,
in the middle of life,
Right now is good,
even when the sun is not visible,
because the sun of mercy shines
always and on everyone.
Let us pray
Thank you for you grace being anew every morning,
and for it being for everyone.
Forgive us for complaining,
grumbling in the wilderness.
Create a new spirit in us,
renew us completely.
Let the flowers of gratitude bloom in our souls,
make us heroes of everyday life who live on your grace.
Be strongly present in our lives,
teach us to enjoy every moment.
In Jesus’ name,
Dear friend, your life may seem to be meaningless, messy, or burdensome. Anyhow don’t forget to live it. You don’t have to it on your own, do it with Jesus. Ask for grace upon grace, start counting your blessings. (You can write down three things a day you’re grateful for, in a year you will have a thousand things to be grateful for like Ann Voskamp recommends.) If you do it prayerfully, you will see the difference in your life. God is at work in you. Be blessed from head to toe!
“Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past.
19 See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland.