Now is the only sliver of time we have to actually live the life God wants us to live. Right now is when we really live in the Spirit.
Yesterday is but a memory of a “now” long past, an aging “now” that was already lived. The “past” is a fruitless tree for the hungry pilgrim today.
And tomorrow is a hoped for “now.” It is a dream of what a future “now” might be. But tomorrow’s promise is empty for most, for it rarely delivers our desire of what we would have the future hold. It usually does not work out as anticipated. So when “tomorrow” finally comes, it becomes “today.” It becomes a “now’ that is disappointing, for it rarely measures up to our imaginations of what it should be.
And so today’s “now” does not satisfy individuals who ponder their pasts and futures. Their “now” becomes blah. And because their present moment is not fulfilling, their minds race yet again to the past and future.
Monitor your mind for thirty minutes, and you will see it jump to thoughts of things and situations that have already occurred or things that might occur in the future.
So there is only one thing to do. Right now we should open our eyes and see the sun’s rays reflect light off of the trembling leafy mirrors of the pear tree. We must inhale the song of the boisterous blue jay clothed in myriad shades of azure. We should listen to the bubbling of a toddler’s joy, reaching down to hold their trusting hand. In a word, we should experience our own “now” with its accompanying sights and sounds and tastes and smells and touch.
It is this “now,” which is free from the fears, frustrations, regrets, and anxieties of our pasts and futures, that is the only environment in which we may hear that “still small voice” of God. He will not try to compete with the cacophony of nonsense our thoughts portray. They will drown His voice out every time. It is only the quiet mind, listening in the “now,” that He will speak to.
For prayer is not just us speaking to God, but it is a conversation. He would like to speak a word to us, too. He wants to speak to us right now, but we can’t hear Him if we are thinking about our pasts and futures.
Our minds are like a radio, receiving thought-signals constantly. If we are listening to the trivial worldly signals, our lives become a worldly broadcast. If we train our minds to block the thoughts of our pasts and futures, then we quiet our minds to live in this very moment. And it is in this very moment, that God can speak to us.
Other voices speak out of our pasts and futures. When we listen to these interior monologues, we cannot hear clearly God’s transmission to us. We cannot hear the “still small voice,” nor can we hear the “voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD (Yahweh).”
As Christians, we are to “let this mind be in you that was in Christ.” He was not thinking about our pasts and futures.” We are to “arm ourselves with the same mind” as His.
Gaining the knowledge of what was in His mind is half the battle. The other half is arming ourselves with His very thoughts about His plan and purpose, free from worldly imaginations and “old leaven.” This is putting “on the whole armor of God.” And this starts with the purging of our old thoughts and replacing them with Christ’s thoughts, which can only be added in the “now.” Kenneth Wayne Hancock