This present moment
Faith & Inspiration
by Andrée Seu Peterson
Posted on Thursday, June 11, 2015, at 11:25 am
A neighbor of mine has advanced cancer, and sometimes she is glum, but sometimes, as she was today, she is happy. She is happy today because, as she just told me on the phone, she found a great book that she took on a trip with her and devoured. I told her that if she goes onto Amazon.com and searches for that book, the site will recommend other books based on what other people who enjoyed that book liked.
But the point is that she has advanced cancer and she is in a good mood today. Some other people I know don’t have cancer and are in a bad mood today. This is the nature of life in the real world. We tend to think, in our superficial estimation, that the life of cancer is an unhappy life and the life of health is a good life. We tend to think that to be rich will make us happy and to be poor will make us unhappy. But the reality is a bit more complicated.
It is more complicated because, as a matter of fact, life is broken down into a succession of discrete moments. As C.S. Lewis wrote in A Grief Observed:
“One never meets Cancer, or War, or Unhappiness (or Happiness). One only meets each hour or moment as it comes. … One never gets the total impact of what we call ‘the thing itself.’ But we call it wrongly. The thing itself is simply all these ups and downs: the rest is a name or an idea.”
The practical application that I wish to bring out for Christian living is a call for a kind of Christian existentialism. This is nothing but what the Bible teaches when it gives any number of exhortations to trust the Lord (now, this minute), to rejoice (now, this minute), or to be grateful (now, this minute). For the future will be what it will be. But all we ever have is now, this moment on the clock, and right now it is not so bad. We had breakfast, we are clothed, we have a roof over our heads, and we are heaven-bound.
And since the past is frozen and the future is always just ahead, this present moment with the Lord is the only place for meeting Him.
Andrée Seu Peterson
Andrée is the author of three books: Won't Let You Go Unless You Bless Me, Normal Kingdom Business, and We Shall Have Spring Again.