Living in the Moment (Part 1)

“Take no thought for the morrow” said the Son of God. It’s an extraordinary saying, made more extraordinary by who said it. He’s the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end but here’s one of his most memorable teachings: live in the now.

If anyone could be forgiven for dwelling on the past or yearning for the future, it’s Christ. But how does he wish to be known? I AM. And where does he want us to live? In the present. That’s where he is. That’s where he wants us.

I’d like to live in the moment. At least in theory. But nothing feels less natural. I try to talk to my brain like I talk to my children, ‘Keep your bottom in your seat!’ But it has about the same effect.

My mind lurches forwards and back, like the car in which I learnt to drive. First gear, pedal to the metal, whiplash. Brake, brake, stall. First I flee the past with its failure, grief and guilt. Accelerate, get away! Then I glimpse something in the rearview mirror. Stop! Go back!

I hate the past and I long for it too. A younger, brighter me in a world of possibility. Reverse! But remembrance quickly turns to regret. The shame. The sense of loss. ‘You stupid girl, why did you…? How could you have…?’ Quick, escape! Look ahead. Anything can happen there!

So how far ahead do I go? Today? Too busy. Tomorrow? Too soon. Next month; next year; next life? Well it certainly can’t be before X. Perhaps once I’ve finished Y and figured out Z. Then —post-vaccine, post-deadline, post-parenting, post-mortgage, post-health-scare, post-worries—then, I can live.


Oh, but how to get there? So many responsibilities. It’s all too much! … You know, life was so much less complicated when I was 20. Ah, 20. If only I could be 20…

On it goes. Looking backwards, craning forwards. Romanticising old sins; yearning for a future that I control. All the while, the great I AM is saying—praying even—’Father I want those you have given me to be with me, where I am’ (John 17:24). He wants us to be where he is. But here’s the point for this post: He wants us to be when he is too. He is now, in the moment, the great I AM. And he broadcasts his almighty invitation: “Join me!”

In the next post we’ll think some more about how to do this. (Try not to waste too much time in anticipation!).

For now, let’s appreciate the invitation. There really is a home for us in the present. In Jesus we have a “refuge and strength, an ever-present help in times of trouble” (Psalm 46:1). He is always present and he is always a refuge. To meet him, we need to be present too.

No wonder Psalm 46 continues: “Be still and know that I AM God.” (v10)

Let’s finish with a meditation on those words. It’s something that centres me when I want to come home to my ever-present Refuge. No matter the distractions of regret, nostalgia, worry or escapism, we can repeat these words:

Be still and know that I AM God.

Be still and know that I AM.

Be still and know.

Be still.



Be still and know.

Be still and know that I AM.

Be still and know that I AM God.

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2 thoughts on “Living in the Moment (Part 1)

  1. You are very gifted in writing in a way that is so relatable Emma. I read this through my tears. I have been doing exactly this – in my “still” moments I am tormented by my past, broken and dissatisfied with my present and anxious about the future. As you have said, I want to either jump back to when I was 20 before things “went wrong” or jump forward to the future in the hopes things will be better. I am so rubbish at remembering that my present is actually right where God has designed for me to be, and to rest in this and keep trusting. Thank you for this post x

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