Present in the present...
Monday mornings tend to be a warm-down jog around the track after a weekend of breakneck, smashmouth ministry. You've heard the phrase from the Bible..."my spirit is willing but my flesh is weak." Monday mornings feel more like "my flesh is willing but my spirit is weak." My flesh is off to the races wanting to surge into things that appease it's appetite for superficial significance, but my spirit is convulsing looking for some time to just be. To just be in the here. To just be in the now. My spirit is dying for this discipline of "presence".
I am caught in between a retrospection, an introspection and a prospection, bouncing back and forth like the little cursor-configuration on my computer screensaver. Part of me wants to surge forward into plans for the upcoming weekend while another part of me wants to linger in the wake of the one that just finished. Still another part of me doesn't want to be bothered by the past or the future longing to be present in the present. This triad of magnetic energy is ever pulling me apart inside on any given Monday morning. I feel it once again today.
Being present in the present may be the hardest thing for me to achieve these days. The regrets of yesterday and the dread of tomorrow weigh heavy on my soul. Or positively speaking, the triumph of yesterday and the prospect of tomorrow lift me out of the now and transport me to the then and there. It might just be the way I'm wired, but I have a feeling this is the ubiquitous struggle of the mass of men. The next is always ripping us away from the now. And by the time the next becomes the now, there is another next that seduces away from what we were consumed by yesterday. I find it hard to commune with the present honoring it with my full attention.
Today I'm going to perform mental exercises on myself, a sort of theo-therapy that forces me to remain. For to remain is all the Jesus asks of us in John 15. "Remain in me and I will remain in you." That is the secret key to the joyful human experience, for this person has figured out how to extract maximum happiness from the moment they occupy. This remaining life has got to be the rehabilitation program I lean into every Monday morning as I set my dials for the week to come. These presets determine the quality of life I experience the rest of the week.
Preset #1 - Withdraw to a lonely place and think upon God's abiding, remaining presence. Join him in his effortless, relaxed solidarity. Now then, doesn't that feel much better? How you like me now?