Find Joy and Peace In The Present Moment

Keith KettenringChristian Living, The Uncommon Journey

When I “changed jobs” in 2010, there were many mornings I’d lay awake thinking about the future. I would panic with anxiety over our finances, our children, our housing, our marriage, and my own soul. How will we make it? This decision doesn’t make sense. I’ll fail. As I met with God one morning while watching a gorgeous sunrise, He clearly assured me in my heart, “I will take care of you.” Tears flowed as the burden lifted. It was in the present moment with God that my whole perspective shifted.

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The Mind Rejects the Here and Now

That experience, and many like it, help me relate to what our guide Dr. Webber writes:

One noticeable way the mind works is that it rejects the here and now…The mind prefers to work in the past or future, since these dimensions are both actually constructs of the mind’s own workings and thus the mind controls them. The present moment, however, is completely outside its control and therefore ignored.

Have you ever awakened at 4:00 AM unable to get back to sleep? What usually happens? You begin to think about something from the past. You begin to be filled with remorse, guilt, or desire to change the past (impossible, of course). Or, you begin to think about something coming up. Anxiety begins to set in. No wonder you can’t get back to sleep. Your thoughts have highjacked your rest. You may pray as a final resort. Not a bad idea. Yet, you continue to wrestle with your thoughts and the anxieties they produce. Isn’t there a better solution?

Live in the Present Moment Where God Dwells

A better solution is to live in the present moment where God resides. This is the place of reality. This is the place of joy and peace.

Unfortunately for the mind, the present moment is the only moment that is, in any sense, real. Moreover, in spiritual terms, the present moment is the only possible occasion in which we can meet God (or anyone else).

God does not dwell in our past or future. He only relates to you in the present. When your thoughts and feelings dwell in the past or future they do so apart from God’s presence. As Dr. Webber writes, “God is exiled to the past or the future, where He is totally powerless – He is completely at the mercy of the human mind which imprisons Him there.”

Peace and Joy Reside in the Present Moment 

The present moment, where God dwells, is distinguished by many qualities. Since God is there, it is filled with joy, peace, goodness, and love. Your mind takes you to the past or future where these qualities may be found as well in fond memories or joyful anticipations. Yet, in these places also dwell pain, fear and anxiety. There is no pain, fear and anxiety where God is…in the present moment.

The present moment is experienced by the heart not the mind. Learn how to live there. (See the post: “What Mystery Will Teach You about God…And Yourself”)

Share your thoughts on this post. What has been your experience of living in the present moment? 

Dr. K