Last week I wrote a post called Tomorrow—A Day That Never Comes. The week before that I had one called Yesterday—A Thing Of The Past. I’ll finish on this theme this week by focusing on today, or the present.
As I have written before, the present is not an easy place for most people to dwell. We are tempted to dwell in the past sentimentally, or in regret. Or if we have had our fill of that, we may be tempted to turn to the future to arrange it the way we feel comfortable, even though we do not have the power to do so.
If we heed these temptations we have very little time left for today, which is really all there is. Yesterday is unchangeable, except through the blood of Christ. Tomorrow never comes. So as we think about these things, what is passing us by? A lot—which is why the enemy wants us focused on the past or future. Anything but what is actually useful.
Today, or now, contains most of what we are assigned to and anointed for. Imagine a mind that is completely balanced in this regard. It only thinks of yesterday when the Spirit dredges up something that has not been properly dealt with, or to think momentarily of a past blessing that is still at work today, and to thank God for it, but not to dwell on it and try to relive it forever.
It only thinks of the future when God gives glimpses of what is possible and what He has in store for us, and what is wise to plan for. There is room for healthy contemplation and even dreaming, if it has useful outcomes. Then this healthy mind returns to what is before it, not losing track of the project or activity at hand because of distraction or fantasy. There is fullness of life in the here and now, beyond what we can fantasize about anyway, so why trade riches for rags?
This may sound idealistic, and maybe it is. But it is something to strive toward with the help of God. After all the Bible does tell us to take every thought captive in 2 Corinthians 10:5, which means it is attainable to a large extent.
I may be a testament of that to some degree. I used to struggle heavily with every bad thinking habit listed above. Fearful of the future? Check. Unrealistic fantasies about the future? Check. Regrets of the past? Check. Sentimental of the past? Check. All these things happened in the extreme to the point where I could hardly function in the present and was very incompetent at work. It led to excessive drinking and a lot of drugs. Of course that didn’t help.
But God gave me good things to enjoy in the here and now, and started drawing me away from those thinking habits after I gave my life to Him. He also gave me more responsibility, which pulled my mind from the clouds. The combination of those two factors in my life in increasing amounts, has been a wonderful cure from God’s throne, and I thank Him for it.