Living in the Future, Existing in the Present

These past few weeks, something sincerely odd has been happening. I’ve found myself getting emotional at slightest of comments, or smallest remarks; in classes I’m constantly feeling the tingle of tears rising in my sinuses. Ugh, I think. What’s wrong with me?

It took me some time, and some sound advice, to realize, simply–I’m weary.

Not physically, but emotionally, mentally, maybe even spiritually worn out. And why? Well, I started with my thought life–and that’s as far as I got. I’ve been thinking a LOT about the future.

I think a lot of us are like this: We like to think ahead, enjoy scratching events in our planners weeks, (maybe even months) before they take place, even formulate little fantasy worlds of “what’s to come.” So when our vision of the future seems clogged by some unsettling fog, we get nervous. We work hard to try and clear away the smoke that prevents us from seeing and manipulating certain details. We reside in a space that doesn’t yet exist, except in our minds. And before we know it, we’re spending all our time there, worrying constantly about the unknown, the unlived.

We start merely existing in the present. I started merely existing. I think of the movie Click, and how Adam Sandler’s character was so often on auto-pilot. It was clear to the audience, that’s no way to live. But I think a lot us do this. We put our mind on a destination in the far future and all the time inbetween “starts looming up like great mountain that has to be climbed” as Frederick Buechner said.

My point is this: The present is the now, the right here, this moment. Are you coasting through it, waiting for the next thing on your list—simply existing? Or are you living it?


The Fields

I have begun to look at my life as a field. All of my past experiences–both good and bad, my relationships, and my gifts, fit into that piece of plowed earth. Everything in that field can be used, cultivated to produce growth, and a good harvest. Yet often times, I think we’d like to overlook some of those past experiences as unwanted and useless. We want to forget. What we miss is this: those things can serve to do great things in the lives around us. Our past is a fertile place, good or bad, it can be used.

Other times I see myself  attempting to plant seeds in earth that isn’t yet ready, or simply outside the bounds of my plot of earth. Then, living outside of my natural limits, I feel stretched thin, unable, often frustrated. Not only this but I realize I’ve not dug deep enough into the land that is ready for seed, watering, or weeding.

I need to claim my field, and I encourage you to also. Cherish this inheritance, sow deep into what we’ve been given, take heart, in due time the harvest will come.