Monday, July 2, 2012

The Strength (and weakness) of Living in the Moment: Repentance

One of my strengths (and in a way one of my weaknesses) is that I don't spend much time worrying about the past and the future. 

I think it's a great strength in many ways, particularly when it comes to statements like "time is measured only unto man" and "with God, all things are present". I wouldn't change that characteristic about myself - except in situations where long-term planning is beneficial to the here and now. I am getting better at that, but there still is room for improvement - for "repentance".

The greatest aspect of living in the present is probably that I don't spend time and energy worrying about what might happen but never does. I do consider all the possible outcomes when there is something I need to consider - but, once that is done, I let go and deal only with what actually happens.

I get that from my mother, to some degree - and she gets it from her schizophrenia, ironically. She can't worry about the future without damaging results, so my dad shields her from everything that might cause worry - so she can "live completely in the present".

Living in the present but thinking appropriately about the future is a bit of a paradox - and those who don't see a need to repent (to change) also, in their own way, are "living in the present" and not worrying about the future. I know my tendency is similar to that, which is why I am grateful to have been raised in a home and church and culture that actually does emphasize repentance. 

It's a fine line, and it's one I'm working on understanding better.


Howard said...

If we resolve the pain and baggage from the past, what remains are mostly positive memories. If we eliminate carving and lust, the future becomes mostly hope. This leaves us largely in the present, which is all anyone actually has.

Paul said...

There is a great deal of peace living in the present. Future tripping -- worrying needlessly about future events that may or may not happen -- is really not helpful. As you point out, careful planning for the future is prudent.

I like Howard's reduction a lot: resolve the pain of the past; reduce craving and lust, and the present is a safe place to be.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for that Paul, I was wondering what the problem was with carving...