Contentment living in the moment is a desired place to be. Where do you “live”? In the past? The present? The future?
Research shows most folks do not appreciate the present. They do not experience the moment. In a study, A Wandering Mind Is an Unhappy Mind, reported in Science Magazine, November 2010, Harvard psychologists Matthew A. Killingsworth and Daniel T. Gilbert found people spend “…a lot of time thinking about what is not going on around them, contemplating events that happened in the past, might happen in the future, or will never happen at all.” They indicated that the minds of forty seven percent of people in their sample wandered frequently irrespective of what they were doing, leading to the “unhappy mind.”
How about you? Do you spend much time thinking about the past? Reflecting on the “good old days”? Complaining about the difficult circumstances? Not learning from prior poor decisions?
Alternatively, are you focussed on moving on to your future? Chomping on the bit to graduate from high school? From university? To retire from your job?
Contentment Living In The Moment
Interestingly, you might think today’s circumstances are bad; but in hindsight, today’s bad experiences could become tomorrow’s good old days. Have you been there? I have.
Happily, by God’s grace, His followers can learn to live in the moment? In Matthew 6:25-34, Jesus tells followers to seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and He will take care of our current needs— life, clothes and food. And the writer of Hebrews says to be content with what we have because God will never leave us or forsake us. That’s the key; believe and follow Jesus and be assured He will be with us always, and will take care of today’s needs.
But what does it mean to live in the moment? Indeed, what does contentment living in the moment mean? Should we set no goals? Have no ambition? Merely putter along aimlessly? No; fundamentally, we need to identify God’s agenda, and concentrate on doing it according to Colossians 3:23-24—with all our being, confident we are serving Jesus, not our human bosses. In this context under God’s guidance we set goals, plan, and budget for the things He has shown us. However, we must be aware always that only God knows the future; only under His guidance should we plan.
Still, we have a huge challenge. How do we know God’s will? I believe we invest too much time trying to find “God’s will.” Followers of Jesus can know God’s truth in the Bible. We should practice the first and greatest commandment (Matthew 22:34-38)—love the Lord with all our being. And follow the second, but humanly difficult, greatest commandment (Matthew 22:39-40)—love our neighbours as ourselves. Essentially, do everything we know His followers should do, then His desires will become our wishes—we will want to do what He wants us to do (Psalm 37:4).
Implied in this approach is knowledge of His Word. We need to spend time daily in the Bible so we can know His many assurances and see His path–the correct path to tread.
This approach needs four conscious decisions. First, to invest time with the Lord daily. Second, to accept that God will provide needed time. Third, to believe John 16:13 that the Holy Spirit who lives in each follower of Jesus will teach us all truth. Fourth, to accept that we can do these three only by leaning on the Lord continually.
What does contentment living in the moment mean? Living in the moment means becoming alert to our circumstances. It’s travelling according to Psalm 119:105 and Proverbs 3:5-6—allowing the Lord to lead and guide every move. But most of all, it means adopting Apostle James’ counsel in James 4:13-15 to seek the Lord’s will constantly:
Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”
© 2014, Michel A Bell
One thought to “Contentment Living In The Moment”
I enjoy every read that is recommended to me. I think you are right. I often find myself thinking about the past and future. Very few times am I immersed in the here and now. For example, recently Ive been concerned about my future – where I will work, or what job will bring me satisfaction. Yet, in spite of my worry, God blessed me with a job – a career – one that I feel I may excel at. Upon worrying about my future, I had almost lost out on my graduating experience! That is, instead of being excited and overjoyed to overcome a milestone, I was caught in deep thought regarding my next endeavor! Luckily, God used important people to remind me of my fault, and I am thankful for His grace!