Why do we often live for the future instead of being present in the here and now? We want control as opposed to uncertainty but only God knows the future and only He is in control. He asks us to live in today and experience what is happening right in front of us without letting our worries about the future rob us of the joys He offers in today.
Living In The Present
Hi! It’s Kimberly from Well Christian Woman.
Thank you for taking this couple of minutes with me to consider what it looks like to live in the present instead of the future and why this is so important for our lives.
Most of us don’t even realize that we spend a lot of our time living for tomorrow instead of actually focusing on today. I think it actually starts when we’re kids. We’re so eager to learn to ride a bike, and to start school, then to get our drivers license.
If we’re not careful I think this drive to always be in the future, be somewhere we’re not, can be a problem for us as adults too. We focus on future job promotions, getting out of debt, going on vacations, or retirement from our jobs.
Even though it’s not necessarily a bad thing in and of itself, James cautions us about this very thing in James 4:13-15:
“Come now you who say today or tomorrow we’ll go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit, yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and vanishes. Instead, you ought to say: If God wills, we will live and do this or that.” James 4:13-15
He’s actually talking to some wealthy merchants of the time when he’s saying this but I think it’s important to realize that it applies to us today as well. We really fail to acknowledge that God is in control when we’re constantly grasping onto and planning our futures. I think it’s actually a fear of our lack of control over tomorrow that can drive this.
We really fail to acknowledge that God is in control when we’re constantly grasping and planning our futures. I think it’s actually a fear of our lack of control over tomorrow that can drive this.
I don’t know what it is that you might struggle with in this area but for me, it’s alway been time. I worry that time is passing me by and that I haven’t spent enough time with my family. I wonder how I’ll find more time, even to the point of thinking (long before my illness) how many life years might I have on average and how can I maximize those years with my family?
It’s a daily struggle to live in the present and not worry constantly about the future in whatever way that looks like for us.
What I know to be true in all of this time for me is that when I’m worrying about the future and trying to control and trying to plan, I’m robbing myself of most of the joy in the day that God has given me.
There three main things that I’ve been trying to do that I’m really finding have changed that for me and are making a difference. It’s not perfect but the more I do them the better it’s getting.
- The first one is that I start each day just focusing on Jesus. Even if it’s just a quick prayer asking for guidance for the day and that focus, it’s just starting the day that way.
- Second is very intentional thankfulness for this day that I have that was never guaranteed for me and just acknowledging that.
- When those things shift and I start to worry and be anxious again, it’s coming back to God’s word, to His promises and praying through that.
I’m finding that those things are making a real difference in my life. I hope that they can for you as well.
I just pray for us that we will live in today finding the joy that God intends for us and just let tomorrow come when it will.