I hate running. There, said it. Feel much better now. But I do it anyway because I like the rewards. So lets talk about something you can do no matter where you are, especially when there are other places you’d rather be.
While running, it’s so easy to look forward to the finish line. You just want it to be over, so that you can rest. Unless of course you’re sadistic. But what if you just focused on the next step, not the finish line. Rather than looking down the road to the end, just focus on running. One step at a time.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have goals or dreams. Those aren’t bad things. It’s easy to miss out on all of the beautiful things in life when you’re overly focused on the destination.
Rather than thinking about how much work your relationship needs, why don’t you take a moment to just celebrate the milestone you’re at right now- difficulties and all.
Instead of worrying about how your meeting is going to go tomorrow, take a few moments to better prepare today.
Maybe the pain you’re experiencing right now is confirmation you are heading in the right direction.
Instead of thinking about how much fun you’re going to have on Saturday, why don’t you be joyful today, right where you are?
The ironic thing is that people who emphasize the beauty of the destination are least inclined to make the world a better place here and now. The journey is just a means to the end. When they reach their destination they hurriedly strike out for the next one.
Life becomes something you chase. Everything you do is just to make it to the next level. You trade happiness today for success tomorrow….wash, rinse and repeat. For some, death is the ultimate finish line. Life on earth is garbage, but when you die, everything is going to be better. Why wallpaper the living room if it’s only going to be burned eventually?
Jesus, on the other hand said he came so that we could have an abundant life (John 10:10). Yes, there are challenges, but with the overcoming of each one, there is joy and fulfillment, and so much more. If there were not challenge, there’d be no satisfaction.
What about Cancer? Well, what about Cancer? You tell me. Some of the happiest people I’ve ever met were those who had an increased appreciation for life because of their illness or loss. That’s not just a rosy glasses philosophy, that’s reality.
Wherever you are, be all there!
No matter what you’re going through, you’re the first one to experience this planet in this particular way. Nobody’s ever been the parent to your fourteen year old daughter before, including you. You’re the first one to live exactly the way you’re living right now. You’re unique. Nobody has ever experienced the world quite the way you’re experiencing it at this very moment!
The past is past and the future doesn’t exist. The only thing you have is the present. It’s a gift, so where ever you are, be all there! Each day you receive twenty four golden hours to spend as you choose and you can’t save them or get them back again. Each one must be cashed in on a moment by moment basis.
Most of the time, rehashing your past can lead to regrets and focusing on the future can lead to worry. It’s not that you shouldn’t plan for the future. You should. The point is you don’t need to worry about the future. In fact, Jesus commands us not to! “If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers-most of which are never seen- don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving” (Matthew 6:30 The Message). “Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself” (Matt. 6:34 KJV).
As I type, Wonderful Tonight by Eric Clapton is playing on the radio. When my wife and I met over twenty years ago, I used to play it for her on my guitar. How cool is that? Right now, I have nothing to do but enjoy this moment and feel wonderful. How about you? What’s one thing you can do right now, no matter where you are? Be all there!