“Living in the moment,” means fully enjoying each moment, rather than worrying about the past or fearing the future. “So free we seem, so fettered fast we are!” - Robert Browning, Andrea del Sarto. Browning’s observation is that we struggle to appear to be free; while the truth is we continue to allow our fears to fetter us to our past and our hopes for the future, thus limiting our enjoyment of the present. Our inability to live in the moment today is demonstrated by the number of people taking drugs to cope. It is fear that keeps telling us we are not good enough and never will be. What does God say about fear? 1 Jn 4:18, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.” Is God telling us that His love frees us to become perfect? Is that possible? When we accept God’s love do we become the best versions of ourselves?
Can dwelling in our past mistakes ever help us? Lk 9:62, “And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and lookingback, is fit for the kingdom of God.” Can we find a better way to live than the one God is leading us towards? Prov 14:12, “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” Is God telling us that He is leading us to the path that leads to the perfect version of ourselves? Jer 29:11, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”
Some have suggested that following God’s plan for our lives is not freedom, since another has planned it. But, do they understand the bigger picture? Has God, who lives outside of time, truly planned or merely seen all of the possible paths in the future? Is He gentling leading us toward the path that offers the best possible outcome for those who choose to accept His offer? Rom 8:28, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” We can make other choices during our lives; however, will those choices lead us to a better life? Has God sent the Holy Spirit to whisper directions to us that will lead us to God’s perfect path? Is 30:21, “And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.” and Jn 10:27-28, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.” When we ignore His directions do we not feel the stress created by the conflict between what we are doing and what we know God has seen for us? If we live long enough in this conflict, will we not eventually shut God out of our lives? Is this not our choice? He always wants the best for us, as we do for our children, Eze 33:11, “Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?” So, He is saddened by the site of those of us who choose to go our own way, Jn 11:35, “Jesus wept.” Wouldn’t God’s knowing the perfect plan for our lives and giving us the freedom to choose another one be the ultimate example of God’s love for us? We cannot blame God for our bad choices, for Jesus continues to offer us a way out, Matt 14:27, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
Who then is truly free to “live in the moment?” Matt 6:31-34, “Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” I believe only those who accept God’s offer, which prevents fear from negatively affecting them, will be really free and unfettered by the cares of this world, thus enabling them to “live in the moment!”