Ever notice that we rush through our days with so much to do, so much we think we should be doing, so much we think we’re missing out on…but how often do we give the proper time and attention to the moment we’re in?
This truly is one of my biggest faults, and I suspect it’s actually pretty common for most people. And it’s one of the things I’m trying hard to conquer.
When I’m at work, I’m often trying to quickly get through a task, so I can move on to the next. Or simply staring at the clock, anxious to leave for the day.
When I’m at home, I’m trying to quickly get done necessary tasks around the house, so I can be out in my garden, or reading.
When I am helping my mother with her needs, I am often frustrated, because I have so many other things to get done that are on my mind.
The list is endless.
How often in life do we neglect giving our full focus and attention to what we’re doing in the moment of time we’re in?
Often, I bet.
The more virtuous way would be to give of ourselves to what we are called to do.
At. That. Moment.
Learning to Appreciate and Fully Be in the Moment
We can always try to find something to be grateful about during the moment of time that we’re in. If you’re around someone you love, enjoy that. If you’re doing something that is providing charity to another, be thankful for that. If you’re simply home and secure, be grateful.
But what if you don’t like where you are at that moment?
This is when we are provided the perfect opportunity to offer self-surrender and sacrifice for others, and most importantly, to God. A person who lives without peace in their soul is often that way because they do not care to let God manage their lives. Instead, they’re always fighting to figure things out on their own.
To do what they want to do.
How they want it done.
When they want it done.
It’s here that we are given an opportunity to forget self and find something far greater. The opportunity to let God guide us in what our life should be each day. And no offering can ever please God as the greatest gift of all – our Will.
Instead of constantly looking at the clock, wondering how much longer we’ll be stuck in our current task, now we are given the opportunity to simply give our “all” to the moment. To the task at hand.
To the moment that God has put in front of us at that exact time and place. And by doing it with as much determination and joy as possible, what may have at first seemed displeasing, may even in the end, be rewarding.
Because we’re doing it out of duty or charity, but most importantly, for the love of God.
Remember, it’s when we do everything for ourselves that we lose our peace and become selfish. Because selfish motives never bring us happiness.
The most virtuous thing we can do is to place ourselves in God’s hands and let Him direct our daily life as He wills it. This we can do with our patience, understanding, generosity, and unselfishness in our daily activities.
So, the next time you want to quickly get something done, so you can move on to what you want to do – stop for a moment, and realize that the moment you’re in, is the exact moment that God has placed upon you. There, in that moment, is your opportunity to want to do that task, and to do it as well as you possibly can.
And in this moment, you have the opportunity to please God, simply by giving your all to the task He has given you.
The more perfectly we can give of ourselves to the moment we’re in, so much the more perfectly we will find peace, and a true union with God – and happiness.
And who doesn’t want that?
Alan Scott is a writer and graphic designer residing in Virginia. A former Agnostic, he converted to the Catholic faith in 2004. In 2014 he started his blog GrowInVirtue.com, which focuses on growing in holiness, by attempting to live a life more simple and virtuous, a life that is lived for God. When he’s not writing or designing, you’ll find him, hands dirty, in his garden. You can find him on Facebook, too.
That was tremendous. How right you are, both in how often I do not live in, devote myself to, or offer to God the present moment, and how important and peace-giving it is to do so. Thank you and God’s blessings to you.
Once in a while I catch myself, have some awareness of this, and make a new and determined effort to stop doing it, but I fail. Pretty soon I’m doing the same thing, living for the future mostly, the one that might not even come. It’s a good idea to stop living for that future and be in the moment. I read a good book on this once, it was written by a Brother Laurence, I believe.
One thought, enjoy every moment with your mother. I went today to have my mother’s birth and death date put on her headstone. I’d give anything to be able to give my entire day to her. I’d sit and enjoy just looking at her and kissing that oh so soft cheek. God bless.
That’s The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence. I’ve heard of it, but haven’t read it yet. Thank you for jogging my memory.
Also, thank you for the good advice.
May Our Lady console you and may your mother rest in peace. What is her first name? Please post it and I will remember her in my prayers.
Only chaste and Immaculate Virgin, who gave birth to God without seed, intercede before Him for the salvation of her soul.
Theotokion from Panakhyda
Providence! I REALLY needed this article. This will help my prayer life immensely.
Often I have so many things on my mind that I can’t focus on prayer. Our Father… I have to call him tomorrow… Who art in heaven… have to go shopping… (You get the idea.). Then I realize that I have to pay attention to God and start over again.
Again, thank you very much for the article. It is very much appreciated.