I don’t know why it’s so tough to live in the present moment. Amazing things are happening every second. But for some reason, all my mind wants to do is run away. To the past or the future, it hardly matters. I’ll daydream about almost anything that isn’t right now.
This is a big problem with my religion, too. It’s easy for me to get fixated on a faith that promises me wondrous things just around the corner. Just over that next sand dune is an oasis. Can’t you smell it? Or just as easily I can retreat into the past. Early Quakers, the early church, the early years of Metallica (before they sold out) – heck, just about anything early sounds pretty good!
But what about right now?
When Jesus approached his first disciples, when he told them to abandon their families and livelihoods to follow him, I’ll bet their minds went straight to the future. Where will we sleep? What will we eat? What will people think of us? And probably to the past, as well. This fishing boat has been in our family for generations. Who are we to abandon this rich heritage?
But they didn’t fall into the escapist trap. They responded without hesitation to the beauty and power that stood right before them. The Scripture says that immediately they dropped their nets and followed Jesus. They were in the zone, in the moment, fully centered in right now with Jesus.
You’ve had moments like these. Those times when it’s all so clear; nothing else matters. You’re alive and breathing, and that’s enough. You see the light, the smells and the sounds and the people all around you – it’s amazing, totally captivating.
Fear can’t touch this kind of awareness. Fear lives in the past and the future, but Jesus is here right now. He’s standing on the beach, asking each of us whether we’ll drop our nets – our future worries and nostalgic clinging – and follow him. Right now.