“It’s Now or Never! You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find eternity in the moment,” urges Henry David Thoreau, the nineteenth-century American philosopher.
Leave the past to God’s mercy. Leave the future to God’s discretion. This moment is all there is.
The Chinese philosopher Lao-tzu counsels, “The Purest Human gives himself up to whatever the moment brings.”
The Hasidic teacher Rebbe Nachman advises, “Each day has its own set of thoughts, words and deeds. Live in tune.”
The Sufi mystic Rumi says, “Stay here, quivering with each moment…like a drop of mercury.”
Be here in the moment, as the artist is here with focused attention, whether you are cooking, cleaning, praying, playing, working or reading. Be here in the moment, as an athlete is here in the sweet spot of time when everything is effortless, fluid and free.
“No moment is trivial since each one contains a divine kingdom of heavenly sustenance,” explain the eighteenth century Jesuit Jean Pierre de Caussade.
The banquet is spread out before us, and it is the wish of the Divine Host, God Himself, that we partake of the present moment without regrets of the past or fears of the future.
Pledge yourself to the moment and let it teach you. Surrender yourself to the present and let it preach you.
Episcopal priest Robert Capon warns, “We spend a long time wishing we were elsewhere or otherwise.” We are like the character in the movie Postcards from the Edge who sends a card home from vacation that says, “Having a wonderful time. Wish I were here.”
Teacher Jack Kornfield comments, “The quality of presence determines the very quality of life.”
A so we must stay in the moment, for that is where the Invisible Lover is, hovering as close as your next breath.
So drink deep of the shining and ephemeral glories that surround you. Drink deep of the present moment which nourishes your soul. Drink deep of the grace-notes that accompany your experiences of the sublime. Then you will never have to utter the lament of the third-century philosopher St. Augustine: “Too late have I loved you, O Beauty, O Life, so ancient and so new, too late have I loved you!”
We must live in the moment, this moment.
For this is where God is, this is where God lives.
And to find him is to open our eyes to the present.
The Present. The Present.