So I have had these thoughts mulling around in my brain for a while now.
Thoughts about the past. Which cause thoughts about the future.
I like to dwell on yesterday. And the yesterdays before that yesterday. Oh so many yesterdays. I just let my mind sit still in last week, last month, last year.
And then I think about tomorrow. And the next tomorrow. And the tomorrow that will follow that tomorrow. And all of the next weeks and months and years. Decades even. I just think on and on about the tomorrows I know nothing about.
But what's wrong with all that thinking?
I'm pretty sure Paul said something about forgetting the past. And I think the gospel of Matthew assures me that worrying about the future won't add anything to that future.
What does that leave me with?
I have been wondering that a lot lately. Where does that leave me?
And then I read a little C.S. Lewis. (A Year With C.S. Lewis - Daily Readings From His Classic Works - get it.) I think God made that guy a genius.
"I believe [God] wants [people] to attend chiefly to two things, to eternity itself, and to that point of time which they call the Present. For the Present is the point at which time touches eternity."
Because the past is where it is - the past. It cannot be altered. It has already been. It was.
And no amount of thinking about it, pining for it, weeping over it, holding to it, denying it will ever change it. It was. It is no more. The past. It cannot be again.
And the future? Well, it is where it is. The future. Unknown. Unpredictable. Tomorrow. And the next day. Out of our hands. (Ultimately.) No matter how we try. Uncontrollable.
And no amount of planning for it, predicting it, talking about it, worrying about it, dreaming about it, fearing it will ever change it. It will be. And we don't know how. Or when. Or in what form. We cannot control it.
But wait, where does that leave us?
In the Present.
Right now. Where I am. Sitting. Standing. Sleeping. Eating. Playing Legos with my kids. Making dinner. Listening to the music on my iPod. Praying. Reading. Running. Surviving. Lying. Celebrating. Helping. Hurting. Breaking down. Building up. Right now.
And my time is in God's hands. And I am only guaranteed this moment. Right now.
Well, actually, I have one other guarantee.
The forever part of me. Eternal. Never ending. Always. Unfathomable, but nonetheless true.
Where every knee bows. Every tongue confesses.
And I think Lewis was right. Whatever part of my brain gets bogged down with anything other than the Present and Eternity is pretty much a waste of my time, my heart and my energy.
Thinking about the past leaves me empty. Worrying about the future leaves me fearful.
Only when I focus on right now am I able to enjoy God's gifts of grace and mercy and peace that passes all understanding. Only when my eyes rest upon the image of eternity am I able to find comfort, security and peace that passes all understanding.
The Present. Eternity.
That's really enough to think about anyway, isn't it?