The Unopened Gift of the Eternal Now.

I found a card in NYC a few weeks ago that reminded me live in the present.

The card showed a street sign at a crossroads pointed to two roads heading in opposite directions, Past and Future. Then at the base of the street sign was a beautifully wrapped, unopened gift on which appeared the word Present.

While some people think of “being in the present” and “mindfulness” as a Buddhist concept, the idea is fully developed within the Christian faith as well. Jesus told his disciples not to worry about tomorrow, but rather to seek God’s kingdom now.  We seek God’s kingdom by seeking God. God is the present presence, the eternal now, the gift that so often goes unopened because we allow ourselves to dwell on the past or future instead of the now.

One Hebrew word for God, Emmanuel, specifically means “God with us.” In Jeremiah 23:24 God declares, “Do I not fill heaven and earth?” Jesus Christ promised his disciples to be present with them at all times, “And lo, I am with you alway, even to the end of the world”

God is present in each day. Elizabeth Barrett Browning said, “earth is crammed with heaven, and every common bush afire with God, but only he who sees takes off his shoes.”

George Macdonald reminds us that God’s presence is real and essential, “Christ, if thou be not with us ~ not by sign, but presence, actual as the wounds that bleed ~ we shall not bear it, but shall die indeed.”

Poet Li-Young Lee is known for revealing the transcendent in his poems. In my recent interview with him he said what surprises him is how often he does not see God present in each day, because God is present to those who open their eyes, ears and hearts.

God is not just present in the contemplative silence; God is present in the clamor of the city. As a matter of fact, I hate to say it, but God is often in the interruptions in my day, not in the careful plans I have made. That person walking towards me, the one I would like to avoid? God may be there ~ will I look the other way?

 

 

Posted in Staublog in March 23, 2011 by | 1 Comment »

One Response to The Unopened Gift of the Eternal Now.

  1. 032311 | Dick Staub on March 23, 2011 at 10:09 am

    […] God is the present presence, the eternal now, the gift that so often goes unopened because we allow ourselves to dwell on the past or future instead of the now. Read More. […]

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