Adapted from Handbook to Spiritual Growth
LIVING IN THE PRESENT
For many people in our culture, life has become so filled with the if-onlys of the future that today becomes an inconvenient obstacle in the path of reaching tomorrow. As Walker Percy observed in his novel Lancelot, “To live in the past and future is easy. To live in the present is like threading a needle.”
During most of our lives, we have a natural tendency to dwell in the future by investing our energies in goals and accomplishments we hope to achieve in the days ahead. The problem is that even when we are able to attain these ends, we are already thinking of the next one down the road. We are fully capable of doing this for decades, but there eventually comes a point where the days ahead are few and the memories behind are abundant. At this point, many people make an unconscious switch to living in the past instead of the future. Either one of these focuses—on the future or on the past—is a mistake, sucking the life out of the present. Instead of moving from product to product, we would do well to seek God right where we are, to know and enjoy Him in the present moment.