Living in the Present

By Corey Willms

It is such a neat experience to be a parent, because I have never been on this side of unconditional love in quite the same way.  I would do anything for my son.  I have often marveled at how kind and generous my parents have been to me, and how kind and generous my wife’s parents have been to us.  They have made such tremendous sacrifices for us, and now I can see why they would want to do that.  My father-in-law and mother-in-law just spent the long weekend at our place helping us with yard work, or watching Kaj so that my wife and I could be free to do yard work.  We got a pile of stuff done.  As we watched them drive off of our yard, we talked about how grateful we were for their help.  My wife suggested that we would enjoy doing the same thing for our child(ren) someday too.  I agreed.  We looked forward to the time that we would have grandchildren.

Later that evening, my wife and I were talking about how much we love our son just the way that he is right now.  We reminisced about some of our favourite experiences from the first eight months of parenting:  when we discovered how much he liked music, when he learned to clap, the different games that we played with him which got him laughing straight from his belly, and many more memories that we had.  We were both a bit nostalgic about some of the stages of life that Kaj will never experience again, but we were mostly excited about watching his present stage and enjoying that.  My wife reiterated how important it is to live in the moment and not wish it away for the next stage.

We have caught ourselves thinking like this before, when we think that things will be better when this week is over, or when this month is done, or when we have our mortgage paid off, or whatever.  That sort of thinking robs us of enjoying the things that are right in front of us.   It also prevents us in some ways from looking for the opportunities that God is giving us in the present.  While it is good to anticipate exciting things in the future, it is important to appreciate and live in the present as completely as we can; to serve God wholeheartedly and obey Him right now.  One of my brothers-in-law challenged me once about giving.  I had said something to the effect that it would be nice to have a lot of money so that I could give more away.  Without hesitation, he asked me how I was taking steps to be generous with what I had right now.  I saw his point.  We have every opportunity to develop our character in the present by choosing to obey God.  We can become the type of people that we would be proud of by doing this.

I want to encourage you to avoid wishing your life away; but rather, to look for the things that you can appreciate, to look for the opportunities to learn, and to look for the ways that you can obey God in the present.

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