I talk a lot about being present in the moment. I have practiced not worrying and giving stressful stuff over to God for many years. So, I want to say that I think practice really works. I have believed this for a while too.
So often we encourage our kids to practice sports or dance or even studies, but do we ask them to practice spiritual disciplines. I don’t think I did and what I find in my “old life” it that it is the spiritual practice that is enabling me to enjoy each day.
Many of you know the practice I started many years ago. If I was worrying about anything; my sons, my work, someone being upset with me, me being upset with someone, anything at all; I would have to recite Philippians 4:6.
Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
I don’t know how I settled on this verse, but I know it very, very well now.
Also, my spiritual practice has been to be present in the moment. That is, not thinking about what has happened in the past. You know, re-running that painful, emotional, or ridicules scene in your mind until you have no idea of what you are doing in the present. OR, thinking about what will happen in the future. You know this one too. Where you think through the next day’s encounter and play out all the parts in your head. Both of these can also involve a lot of worrying.
When I found myself in these mental loops my simple question was; can I change anything about the past or future in this moment. Actually, sometimes I can. I can apologize, or even ask for help, from someone who I had a bad encounter with in the past. OR, I could practice or prepare something for the future work I had to do and was on my mind.
But if I had no power to change the past or impact the future, then my rule is to let it go. This no power options usually has to do with changing someone else. Wanting the someone to make different choices or realize the wonder that is their life or value their relationship with the Divine or others. We, I, have no power to change someone else. I can influence them, give my opinion, say what I see to be true; BUT the decision, the choice is the other persons. It is the gift of free choice that God has given to human beings, for better or for worse.
These disciplines are not easy. Yet I find that since I have worked hard at keeping my mind in the present moment and finding the joy God has for me there, that it is easy than when I first began. Of course, it is God who has created, enabled, sustained any change in me. My bottom line is that if I truly believe that God has the power to raise Christ from the dead; to change death in life; then I ought to believe that God can transform my mind always.
I encourage you to read all of the Philippians 4. It has some great stuff in there. I pray you find meaningful words that help you to enjoy each moment that God has given you. For this moment I what to praise God for the joy I find as I travel this path.