The Gift of the Present Moment

“Patience is not waiting passively until someone else does something. Patience asks us to live the moment to the fullest, to be completely present to the moment, to taste the here and now, to be where we are. When we are impatient, we try to get away from where we are. We behave as if the real thing will happen tomorrow, later, and somewhere else. Let’s be patient and trust that the treasure we look for is hidden in the ground on which we stand.”  — Henri J.M. Nouwen

What percentage of your life do you live in the past–regretting choices and decisions, reliving former glory days, wishing you could see someone again or that you had said something or not said something to someone in your life?

What percentage of your life do you spend dreaming about the future and contemplating “what-ifs”? Do you dream of winning the lottery, writing the next great American novel, finding true love, buying a house, having a child, or other hopes and dreams?

Now, what percentage of your life do you have left for the present moment? Is it 90%, 75%, 50%, or 25%? Could it really be true that you are only present in your life for a fraction of your time on earth?

Think about it. The only time we truly have is the present moment. We can’t change the past. We can’t predict with absolute certainty what the future holds. This moment right now is what you and I have. It is a gift that we did not earn or buy. We breathe in and out without effort, and our heart beats without our input. Right now we are fully alive and full of potential that only this moment can bring.

What will you do? How will you choose to live this moment in time? What treasure awaits our full, undivided attention and participation? This is your one wild and precious life (thank you, Mary Oliver); now go–live it in thanks, awe, and joy.

Photo by photosteve 101 used under Creative Commons License. Thanks!

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