This week I was thinking about the importance of focusing on the present.
The truth is that the past is finished and gone.
And the future is yet to be determined.
Sometimes we feel anxiety when we dwell too much on the past and worry too much about the future. Now this is not to say that we shouldn’t think about the past and future at all. (I am writing this weekly reflection for me as much as I am for you, so no judgement if you are a fellow Nervous Nellie!) But perhaps we can realize when we do this in ways that just aren’t good for us.
Remember what Jesus said in Matthew 6:25-29: “Therefore, I say to you, don’t worry about your life, what you’ll eat or what you’ll drink, or about your body, what you’ll wear. Isn’t life more than food and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds in the sky. They don’t sow seed or harvest grain or gather crops into barns. Yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Aren’t you worth much more than they are? Who among you by worrying can add a single moment to your life? And why do you worry about clothes? Notice how the lilies in the field grow. They don’t wear themselves out with work, and they don’t spin cloth. But I say to you that even Solomon in all of his splendor wasn’t dressed like one of these.”
When Jesus instructed his disciples to consider the lilies he was cautioning them about the toll of worrying. About how worrying doesn’t add a single moment to our lives. Sometimes it helps to pause when we start to worry and do practices that focus on the present. Focus on your breathing. Have you been taking some deep breaths or has your breathing been shallow? Focus on your body. How are you feeling physically? Focus on the world around you. Look out your window or go outside for a walk. What do you see? Focus on gratitude. For whom or for what are you thankful? Focus on your mental/emotional state. How is it with your spirit? How are you feeling emotionally? Take time to pray and be with God.
Just in case you’ve found yourself dealing with worries, maybe there’s ways to focus on the present moment and give thanks to God for the gift of another day. Don’t worry, I’ll be right there trying to worry less with you.
This Week’s Thoughts 5.6.21