Living In The Now

Posted By: Dieuner Joseph | Sunday, January 13, 2013


 

According to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab, each day has been shortened by 1.8 microseconds due to the enormous, tsunami-spawning earthquake off Japan in 2011 that shifted the planet’s axis by several inches, and sped up the earth rotation. That means we have to learn to live in the now because our time is getting shorter.

This revelation may not seem significant, since many of us waste far greater amount of time than 1.8 microseconds, on a daily basis. Nevertheless, it should cause us to pause long enough to think about the quality of life we are living and the way we spend our time. The hope is that many of us will become more purposeful in trying to live in the now so we can enjoy the present as the gift of life from God that it is.

Time is one of the greatest gifts we have as human beings. What we do with the time we’ve been given is our gift back to God. Yet, many of us struggle to make the best of our time on earth. We waste so much of our time trying to please people who really don’t care about our wellbeing; and trying to acquire things that cannot give us a sense of purpose or help us to live with joy.

Many of us are being held hostage by our past and robbing ourselves of the opportunity to live in the now.  Some are so focused on planning for the future that they are oblivious to the precious experiences they are foregoing in the now. We’ve allowed worry to define our existence such that we are encumbered with stress. We scarcely laugh or take the time to enjoy the moment.

We need to live more in the moment. That doesn’t mean we don’t plan for the future. It means we have to stop allowing the present slip away, stop allowing time to rush past unobserved, and stop squandering the precious seconds of our lives as we worry about the future and ruminate about what's past.[1]

According to Psychology Today “Living in the moment—also called mindfulness—is a state of active, open, intentional attention on the present. Instead of letting your life go by without living it, you awaken to experience.” Simply stated, we have to be awakened to the experiences of love and fellowship, as they are presented to us in the moment. We have to actively set aside time to enjoy the now. We have to be opened to stress-free moments that can regenerate our mind, spirit and body. We have to be intentional about laughter and love.

"Everyone agrees it's important to live in the moment, but the problem is how," says Ellen Langer, a psychologist at Harvard and author of Mindfulness. I propose the following approaches:

Be grateful for the now

Ingratitude hinders our ability to enjoy the moment. It makes us resentful and unappreciative of the people who love us and the things we’ve already accumulated. Hence we become dissatisfied and unhappy with life, instead of celebrating each precious moment we have in the present. People who are grateful for the now, experience more joy because they don’t let the present slip away. Instead, they see now as a present to be unwrapped and enjoy no matter their circumstance.

Don’t delay laughter

Laughter is not only a great medicine for the soul; it is also therapeutic for the mind and body. Laughter should never be delayed. People should laugh when they so desire even when others may not think laughter is appropriate. Laughter should always come before good time. Don’t wait for a gathering, a celebration, a movie, etc., to laugh. Laughing in the moment is setting the atmosphere for joy to emanate and for life to become livable.

Children don’t time their laughter. They laugh at the silliest things and unpredictably. They don’t care about place, people or circumstance. They laugh at themselves, other people and their surrounding without derision or disrespect to anyone. They simply enjoy laughing! Because they enjoy laughing, they are easily entertained and relish each moment to enjoy their short life through laughter. They don’t think about yesterday and are not worried about what the future holds. They simply live in the present with no sense of time.

Lose track of time

When children are having fun, they don’t look at their watch to see how much time has elapsed. Perhaps it is to their benefit they don’t know how to tell time. Instead, they tend to be totally engrossed in whatever they are doing now as they lose track of everything else around them. Imagine how much better some marriages would be if husbands would lose track of time as they enjoy the company of their wives. Imagine how much happier some families would be if parents would lose track of time as they spend time in play and laughter with one another.

We have to stop robing our loved ones of the precious moments we can give them by being so intensely focused on them in the moment that the amount of time elapsed is inconsequential. We must also stop robing ourselves of the joy of simple successes and brief moments of happiness by not trying to move too fast towards the next challenge.

Conclusion

From the moment we are born, we begin to die. Time stops for no one. It is filled with swift transitions. Our loved ones will not always be around. Our children will not always need us to play with them. Our spouses will not always demand our attention. People grow old and die. All we have are the memories we build. Therefore, we have to be purposeful about living in the moment with gratitude and laughter. Don’t set time limit on happiness or the duration of each pleasant moment. Enjoy the moment for the moment.  

 



[1] Jay Dixit, “The Art of Now: Six Steps to Living in the Moment,” published on November 01, 2008 - last reviewed on June 15, 2012. Psychologytoday.com

 

About The Author

Rev. Dieuner Joseph is a dynamic leader, disciple Maker, Writer, Talk Show host, and Spiritual counselor. Reverend Joseph is the founder of the Imani Temple Baptist Church and the Disciple Maker Ministry. He is a skilled Bible teacher who carefully and responsibly exegete the Scriptures to make them relevant to today’s readers. Through his Blog and weekly Christian magazine- The Wednesday Word- he seeks to provide Bible based instructions for dealing with the socio-political issues of today.

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