Being present in the present is sometimes a challenge. The propensity to exist in the past, either glorying in what was or lamenting what could have been, or getting lost in the future, always pining for what might be, keeps so many of us locked out of the wonder of now.
I guess today I want to bring a bit of a confession to you. It seems I’m often confessing things that I see and recognise in my own life. But I’m aware that although although it’s the man in the mirror that I look at, I know that there are a host of welcome participants in these same conflicts that we have as we walk this planet as pilgrims. And I want to talk today just a little about being present in the present. Yeah.
And how that can sometimes be a challenge. There really is a propensity sometimes, I think, to spend much of our head space in the past either glorifying what maybe once was or lamenting what could have been. Or the other side of that is that we get lost in the future, always pining for something somewhere, somehow of what might be or what could become. But these two things, you know, living in the past, living in the future, both keep us locked out of the wonder of what we call now.
And and so, you know, I guess I mean, there’s a whole movement, isn’t there? It’s it’s quite in vogue to talk about mindfulness, which I do believe speaks to this whole idea of being present in the moment. But, you know, it’s really being present in the moment is not the not a new idea. You know, it’s something that we are encouraged to do by Jesus himself when he talks about, you know, don’t worry about tomorrow.
You know, tomorrow will take care of the things of its for itself. You know, consider what you do today. Consider how you think, how you speak, how you operate today, how you engaging with those around you, how you engaging with yourself, how you engaging with your tasks, how you engaging with God today, you know, because tomorrow really is not promised to us and quite honestly, because his mercies are new every day, you know, we can there’s nothing from our past that can prevent us stepping in to that place of kind of a sense of fullness and completeness right now in this moment.
And so but how do we root ourself in the present and experience the moment? And I’m certain there are a multitude of techniques. As I say, mindfulness is like this big thing at the moment. It’s not something that I’ve read into a great deal. But I do love the minimalist movement is kind of the get rid of all the stuff, you know, the stuff that you own owns. You say, you know, live with only the things that you love and give your time, money and energy to the things that really do honestly add value both to yourself and to those that you love.
Yeah. And those that you want to reach and bless and help and benefit. I’m all for that. I love all of that, you know, and I think that there’s a lot of talk of this in a whirlwind that so often we live in, particularly in the West. I can’t say about anywhere else. I only, you know, we’re so immersed in our culture. We’re like the fish in the bowl. And we we don’t know what water is because we live in it.
Yeah. And it’s, you know, stepping out of that matrix is a somewhat kind of befuddling experience sometimes because we realise much of the premise that we live on a lot of the foundations that we are seeking to build our lives on. The British is pretty shifting and let’s face it. But I think that there is one, you know, whatever whatever kind of facet of this, you look at whatever where you come at it, there’s something very common in all of the different people who talk about this kind of living in the moment, enjoying who you are and what you have right now.
And that is gratitude. Gratitude is such a powerful thing. Last week I wrote around some other subjects, but this phrase came out and I do love it. One of the reasons that I love to write, one of the reasons I love to create is as much as it might surprise other people, I think often the person who actually creates, he paints, who writes, who sings, whatever it may be. I think that they are often the most surprised of all when certain things kind of come to the surface and end up on the.
And I wrote this phrase, A tank full of thankful, having a tank full of thankful is one of the greatest ways, I think, to bring your soul back home. Yeah. And remind yourself of who and whose you are. You belong to God. You are created him in his image. You are his workmanship created for works. And he is prepared for you to walk in. And despite the fact that we do choose so often to worry so much, he will take care of us.
He will provide he will make a way. He will show himself strong on our behalf. He will furnish us with all that we need and often many of the things that we want. You know, and with regard to this whole area of thankfulness, I’ve got to admit, I put my hand up as guilty, guilty as charged chief of sinners, my unthankful moments where I forget the mountainous proof of God’s goodness. Yeah. That is apparent in our lives can be so easily forgotten in the kind of winds that blow as we kind of go through this.
There’s life trying to figure things out, trying to find a survival place, trying to find a happy place, trying to find our significance, whatever it may be. Very often we forget to stop, to appreciate the mountain of blessing that we actually enjoy. And that is true for I would imagine most of us say, okay, I’m not I’m not trying to compare, but like really in a sense of like relative, we are so incredibly blessed.
It’s unbelievable that we would spend even a moment in complaint, you know, and, you know, those times of forgetting. Yeah. Those unthankful moments. Yeah. Are definitely more than I would more in number than I would like to accept. Confess if I’m honest. And at times these transgressions are really just sins of omission. We’ve all heard the kind of saying I sins of omission where we kind of just fail to do or say something and sins of commission where we intentionally do or don’t do something.
You know, that really meant much of might unthankful transgressions are really just add in my attitude are sins of omission. I just fail to be thankful for the grace I enjoy. I take it for granted, you know, or perhaps the worst side of that is where we really ascribe the blessings that we enjoy in life to either accident, to happenchance or perhaps worst of all, just the fruits of our own strength and genius. Now, it’s not that we don’t partner with God.
It’s not that we don’t recognise the part that we play in fulfilling his will. But ultimately, the increase comes from him. We so another May water, but it is always God that brings the increase. Every good gift, every perfect gift comes down from the father of lights with whom there is no shadow of turning. How thankful should we be for every good gift that comes from him? Our father? Yeah. And then other times they really are sins of commission, like overt complaints, overt worries, overt griping.
You know, that swirling pool of self-pity that we can get sucked into so often. You know why me is like so much easier to ask when our eye is on what we don’t have them than what we have. You know, when was the last time you kind of sat down and looked at the incredible blessings that you enjoy and ask yourself the question, man, why me? Who am I to deserve such incredible grace? Who am I to be called to such a wonderful ministry?
Who am I to enjoy the blessings of the relationships that I do? Who am I to, whatever it may be to carry these gifts? Who am I to enjoy this health that I have in my body? Who am I extra, etc, etc. I mean, honestly, when we begin to look at the things that we can be thankful for, the list is endless. You know, it’s embarrassing how. How absorbed or self-absorbed I can become in this tiny little kind of life that I call my own and forget that there is a screaming, breaking, yearning, broken world wrestling for breath right outside my door and say really rounding round on a very often basis and consider the million and more reasons to be thankful is a good thing.
The breath that we breathe, the sky, the rain, water, sunlight, trees, food, friends, children have arms, legs, fingers, feet, fingernails, intelligence possibilities that are yet to be realised. Connections desire, surprises, passion, protection, a safe place to stay. Energy for another day. Sunrise at the break, sunset at the end and the hours in between. Birdsong to begin the day. Dishes to wash up, proving that there was food to be eaten close to wash because of bodies, well clothed tasks to be done because opportunities are abounding.
Joy in the small things, some money in the bank, enough for our needs, hope and expectation for the future. A light that works and books to read electricity. Words to share faith in God. A voice however small it may be, but big enough to encourage another person today love to bring. Sometimes you know this is it wouldn’t it wouldn’t make it to The X Factor. But sometimes even a song to sing dancing in the kitchen, hold in my loved ones, forgiveness, forgiveness for all the times I forget all of the above and a million more grace given blessings right now.
This second, in this moment with no future, I’m vainly reaching for or past that’s not wiped clean by God’s mercy. I thank Jesus for all that I am and all that I have. All that is to become will take care of itself. For now. The seeds of tomorrow are going to be sown today. The seeds of your tomorrow are going to be sown today. And that’s where for me, from my house, I’m going to choose to live with my tank full of thankful.
And I’m going to say no to that future right now with a heart of gratitude. Well, thanks for listening, hopefully. It’s been an encouragement to you today, if you want to connect any further, you can do so through my website at Davidleemartin.com. Have a great day.