I learned through trial and error that you can give your growing vegetables too much water. You’d think that more water meant a more abundant crop, wouldn’t you? Veggies need some water and some time to dig their roots down into the soil in search of water. If you make it too easy for them, they don’t dig down and they don’t grow. If you make it too hard by neglecting them, they wither and die. As humans, our joy is found in discovering how the system works already and cooperating with it. We were never asked to invent the process, but rather work within the frameworks previously established for us. Sure we can spend many years bucking against the system, trying and erring, trying and erring, but it’s always a wonder filled day when finally we learn how it works and work with it!
Your mind and more specifically your thoughts are also a system. The system was designed to produce something for you. It is neither random nor whimsical. It’s not happenstance, nor is it something outside your control. You can neglect the system and it will begin to wither and fail. You can overload the system and it will start to break down. It, like all of the systems that exist in this world, is always a delicate balance that requires an effort on man’s part to learn and master. You begin to neglect the system when you stop thinking and deeply considering in favor of habit and rote behaviors. It happens when you think you already know and have the audacity to conclude there’s nothing new for you to learn. The system becomes frightfully overloaded when you burden it down with worries and cares. One central theme of worry will overshadow all of your thinking and suffocate the life right out of you. Thoughts of your past failures and anticipating the doom of some future state, short-circuit the whole operation and reduce your vitality immeasurably.
Thought processes, though highly debated, have been estimated to number between 50,000 and 70,000 per day. Clearly the system was designed with a large capacity in mind. However, the Wisdom behind the massive system planned for the thought processes to be managed one day at a time. The reason we miss the “wonder filled present” is because our minds are all over the damn place! Our minds have been schooled to flick around like dragonflies, changing directions frenetically, running from thing to thing to thing! We can barely tolerate the present moment without some additional source of information streaming into our consciousness from devices we must recharge every hour. In interactions with other humans we half participate at best. We nod and reply with 20% agreement having only partially registered what was said. With reverted eye we drift in and out of the moment, scanning backwards and forwards like radar, yet missing the target in the center. And as we faithfully miss the mark, our personal fulfillment suffers a mortal blow.
The precious moment called “now” is not found only in moments of quiet repose in a shaded wood or glimmering off the surface of the ocean. It’s not location dependent nor reserved for sunrises or sunsets. It’s not something saved as a celebration for the hard-won fight or worthy goal accomplished. It is life happening right now in the midst of the 50,000+ with the whole sum participating each one by one by one. It is your next idea, your next activity, your very next move. It is you waking, preparing, eating, walking, driving, parking, entering and working. It is the work to be done next in priority. It’s your opportunity to do good for your co-worker and his co-worker and hers. It’s in noticing her furrowed brow and asking if everything is okay. It is looking at the faces in the meeting and seeing them all one by one. It is pausing to think whether those words should be said out loud and choosing silence instead. It is observing the whole drive home then arriving with a determination to bring light and happiness to those with whom you interact the most, despite your familiarity with them and every imagined insult. It is your glorious opportunity to win the moment, the hour, the day and in so doing honor the God that made you!
Alive in the moment, you’ll find your mind relieved of a vast load of cares with the only threat to your existence being that which you can discern now and not that which has been deeply amplified within your fearful thoughts. The fretful pushing and driving to make something of yourself will be replaced by your recognition of a well-lit path that has been carefully marked out for you already, with your only requirement being to find it and keep yourself on it! Living your life one day at a time allows your soul to slow to the pace for which it was designed to run; a pace designed for the whole race. And like an athlete well skilled in how much energy to expend on a thing, you will finally sit atop the perch and with grace decide just how much of you the thing requires and whether you are willing to give it.
The wonder filled present has the antidote to life’s deepest problems because it works away at the bricks in the fortress without rashly seeking to rip out the whole edifice all at once. Obesity and poor health are tackled by the next decision and the next, until working in concert they produce a cumulative, dramatic effect. The root of financial problems are at last found out in today’s earning and spending without relying hopelessly on some false windfall of the future. Indeed all that plagues you, wrapped up and mystified in distracted backward looking and forward seeking thoughts, will suddenly come into laser clear focus begging to be addressed and remedied at last!
The wonder filled present is God’s solution, His gift for a weary, overburdened people, offering the promise that is found in today and only found in today. Life, as you well know, is far too short to miss it or waste it bamboozled and distracted by a world hell-bent on depleting your resources and squandering away your precious existence! Love your one life by making the decision to live it fully, comprehensively, completely, starting with today!
You owe yourself this gift!
Just some good thoughts…