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It’s the most challenging place to live in, The Present. Dwelling in The Past and fretting over The Future have become my most natural states. But The Present? I almost forget it’s here.
I have spent the last several blog posts depicting scenes from my past. But this is not the only time I spend hanging out there. I look through old pictures on facebook, replay conversations in my head I’ve already had, and–this is becoming more frequent with age–play the “remember when” game with old friends. The Past feels nice sometimes. It already happened. I don’t have to create from scratch. But this restriction often leaves me with feelings of regret or dissatisfaction and in the inescapable pit of what could have been. It’s no place to be for long yet I manage to be there often.
The Future may be where I spend most of my time these days, in a constant state of wondering where my life will lead. What will I be doing this time next year? This time in five years? I work in an industry where our projects concern books releasing two years from now. I work in the future! I worry about it too, almost always. As if it will never come unless I obsess over it every second of the day.
This lifestyle of mine–living in The Past and in The Future–was all fine and dandy, nice and cozy, until conviction swept over me in the form of two words: “I am.” God says it, remember? “I am the I am.” And my sixth-grade English class taught me that “am” is the first-person present form of the to-be verbs. How utterly devastating to my current dwelling places.
I often remember that He was. I often comfort myself in the fact that He will be. But I so easily forget that He is. How can I forget when He says it so plainly: I am? It makes logical sense He would want us to dwell in The Present. For how could you get to know someone simply by looking at old photographs of them? Or by hearing all about how you will meet them some day? You don’t. You get to know them at lunch, over coffee, when you’re together, at the same time in the same place. It’s sobering to realize I’ve probably missed out on so many get-to-know-you moments because I couldn’t stick my head out of The Past and Future.
Yes, He was. Yes, He will be. But He is right now. And I don’t want to miss out anymore.