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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The Precious Present


Some people (translate as: “my wife”) thought my last blog was fairly weird.  I considered debating the point with her, but I had read it, too, so really? Defend it as NOT weird?  Really?  It’s okay, it was just kind of a fun one for me.  HOWEVER, I thought I might need to redeem myself quickly, and actually ran across something I thought was pretty good, so here is a blog worth reading (at least in MY opinion…..we’ll see how the critics respond).

One of my habits is to read some old Guidepost books.  I never get the new ones, just last year’s, or 15 years ago, because they are cheap and you can find them at thrift stores!  One I read this morning I thought contained some really good thoughts for people tied into the world of divorce, but also applicable to the rest of us.

The writer, Gina Bridgeman, recounted a story from the book The Precious Present by Spencer Johnson, telling of a man who was given advice by a wise man about the wonder of finding in life the “Precious Present” that would always yield happiness.  The man, upon hearing that, began his search to find that present.  It was only after much searching that he learned that the s “Precious Present” is THE PRESENT, as opposed to the past and the future.  In other words, true happiness is found by living your life in the present, not in the past or future.

That’s a pretty good truth, wouldn’t you say.  Now, of course we need to be careful to distinguish between “living in the present,” and living for today.  God warns against only living for today.  And, in fact, we are urged to live with an eye on the eternal realities of the world to come, not merely this earthly existence.  But, apart from that, there is a great deal of truth in what is taught by that lesson.

All of us know too many people who live only in the past….and it can be very difficult for a person who has been divorced to let go of both the fond memories as well as the devastating hurts of the past….especially if they were abandoned by a person they still loved.  Other people live way too much in the future……and especially those in the midst of divorce, as those people are waiting for that someday when everything will be better, when life finally begins!  Children long to be able to drive, teens to be out on their own, singles for the day they find the perfect person, the young couple longing for their first child, the parent of teens longing for empty nest, the parents of adults waiting for the first grandchild….it just never ends. 

How is it that the Professor described it to Marian in “The Music Man” when he was talking about this issue?  He said something like, “if you are always living for tomorrows, then all you end up with is a handful of empty yesterdays.”  Something like that.

That awful time in the process of divorce is very much that way….because you are so unable to plan until the court finally makes decisions.  And you are often grieving so much of the past, that it weighs on your heart each day.  But even during the limbo of waiting for the divorce process to end, one does best to realize that we are only given one day at a time, and in fact, only one moment at a time.  And each moment is truly a gift from God.  There is never a better time to turn over that new leaf, start that new good habit, express appreciation and love…..the Bible addresses this several times.  Phrases like, “Today is the day of salvation” or “Don’t boast about tomorrow” or when we make plans, be sure to include God:  “If God wills we will do this or that.” 

Don’t miss the important opportunities you have TODAY, no matter what your situation is, because you are obsessed with the past or the future.  Today’s beautiful sunset will only occur today.  Your child will never be exactly this age ever again.  The list is endless.  But know, God can work in your life, but He can only do it NOW, because NOW is all you have.  Yes, He may have worked in your past, but that is part of why you are who you are NOW.  And yes, He has plans for your future, but when they arrive, they will only arrive NOW.  Don’t miss the NOW God has for YOU!!!

TL:dr  Each moment is a gift from God.  We need to treat them that way.

1 comment:

  1. Jeremiah 29:11 Richard, this is a great post. I did enjoy the previous one, too, though. I'm posting the link to this one on a group I belong to on Facebook. DS