Monday, July 14, 2014

What's Wrong with this Moment?

This has become a really powerful question for me lately.

"What's wrong with this moment?"

I have to admit the last several years have really been an up and down roller coaster for me emotionally, spiritually, physically, mentally, and financially. I feel like stress, depression, anger, and confusion have gotten the best of me. I've somewhat lost my identity. I lost that confidence and God-esteem that carried me for years. It has all been drowned out by stress and uncertainty.

There is a concept I hear a lot about that I normally associate with Eastern philosophy/religion and that is the idea of "being present." I'm discovering it for myself in the Scriptures though and I must say it's a game changer.

Most of our anxiety and stress comes from places in the future and past, places we can't go to from this present moment. Scripture teaches us that it is a waste of energy to worry.

Matthew 6:25 "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, ... 27 Who of you by worrying can add a single foot to his height ? ...31 So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' ...34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Luke 12:25 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life[b]? 26 Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?

The power of "worrying" will not fix your problems anymore than it has the ability to make you taller or live longer. IT IS A WASTE OF TIME AND ENERGY! (in fact will probably make you shorter and die more rapidly).

There are things we all need to be concerned about. The test results of an important medical exam? The outcome of our court hearing? If we will make the sale? How are we going to pay the rent? I would be worried if you "weren't" concerned about things like this; but freaking out, losing sleep, being angry with others, falling into depression, and so on...will not change the result of your medical exam or pay the rent.

In fact, I believe it creates a negative feedback loop, that keeps you in a bad place. (We will get more into that in another blogpost.)

So when I find myself starting to go down this road lately, I've started asking myself, "What's wrong with THIS MOMENT?" I know that scary thing I'm concerned about is just around the corner, a mere few days away, but I'm not there, I'm here. I'm in this moment. When I start to look at this moment, I start to find so many things to be grateful for. I don't miss the moments with my son, friends, and family that stress recently has been robbing me of. I don't miss the mindset of the thousands of things that are actually beautiful in my life currently. I am reminded of how blessed I really am.

"In your presence there is fullness of joy." Psalm 16:11 One of the reasons that worship times are so powerful for us is because it causes us to become "present" in His presence. It is one place that we learned to practice this idea of being present. We allow ourselves to focus in on Him, letting the world fade away, leaving our worries and concerns behind, and give the Lord what is due to Him. We must be "present" in His presence to experience the fullness of joy His presence provides." The problems and future worries still exist outside but we are able to get lost in the moment of being with Him.

Learn to worship not only in church and song, but in mindset and spirit. That same intention of focusing on his presence and what you can be grateful for is available to you even as work or go about your normal routine.

What's wrong with this moment? Nothing, for He is here with me.