Tuesday, May 22, 2007
Living in the Moment
I spent a little time in Adoration this evening, just feeling the need to be with Jesus. My brain has been full of so much, my life is naught but clutter, and I'm terrified of what's just around the bend. I'm going to start Grad school in August, but all that's covered by the scholarship is 1/3 of the 5 credits I'll be taking. What about the other 2/3's and the cost of books? Where's the money coming from?
What of my job? I didn't get the job I thought I wanted, which is fine...God knows best, but now what? I don't even know where to look. Accepting my current position almost 5 years ago has proven to be professional suicide; the last few years has rendered my work and experience completely invalid because I've been off my career path for so long on this useless tangent.
As my current Manager and my immediate Supervisor observed in a recent meeting, my life is taking a very different turn, it's recognized by people around me....but what they don't realize is that I have nowhere to go. I am completely at God's mercy because I can't get myself out of this grave I've dug so deeply.
And then there's this upcoming weekend...I just learned that my brother, his girlfriend, and my Mom are going to spend the night at my house on Saturday, and this place is a complete catastrophe! The spare bedroom doubles as a storage room and some time ago I began a "cleanup" project with the goal of getting rid of stuff. All I did was shuffle it around and discover some of the plastic totes I store it all in is not completely full, and I have paper records that go back about 10 years. I can't just throw it away because it has identifying info on it, and last summer I didn't get a chance to burn it in my friends' fire pit...and shredding this stuff in my shredder would take years of tedium.
I deal with enough filing and tedium at work, thank you. (I'm horrible with filing...my inbox is usually stacked to the ceiling. I "file" by mentally indexing what comes in every day and pulling it out when it's needed...THEN it goes into the file.)
As you can see, I have a problem with living in the present. I'm always off to the next thing. I'm always looking ahead.
I began doing this many moons ago when I was looking to escape the chaos of our home, knowing that salvation laid in planning for the future, having goals, and working hard to reach them. I learned early that I couldn't depend on anyone, and unfortunately, in those years, I really didn't understand that God was there asking me to depend upon HIM, and in spite of everything I did, God still came through for me when it was needed, although I didn't realize it at the time.
I've always been very "driven" and very "goal oriented" and it's so hard for me to take a step back and let God handle things. And where to draw the line between actively carrying out the tasks to reach the unknown goal God has in mind, separating trust in God from the sins of complacence and sloth?
Tonight at Adoration, I came to realize that we are all in a culture of "tomorrow" without learning to have an appreciation for "today" much less "this very moment".
As Mother Angelica has said, Jesus wants us to ask what he wants of us in this very moment, RIGHT NOW, wherever we are and whatever we are doing.
I have such a hard time with this. It's so simple, but I can't seem to handle the present. I'm so attached to the future that I'm tripping over my own feet to get there. Perhaps if I could pay attention to NOW I would see the obstacles in my way.
My thoughts turned to my childhood. I remember those years before school started, or those long summer days when school was out. I remember how the time seemed endless, the moments blissful, even in our boredom, we didn't worry about tomorrow. Certainly, we considered exciting events in the future, but our excitement didn't take us out of fullness of the present. We knew all about stopping to smell the roses.
It didn't matter what time the sun set and rose. I didn't care what the weather was going to be like in five days (unless a big storm was predicted...that's another story). I didn't care about TIME or what was going to happen in the future. I knew that all that was in Mom and Dad's hands, and if there was something I was supposed to do, they would tell me about it. I didn't have to set the alarm to get up in the morning...Mom would get us up. Mom would make dinner, and if she wasn't there, Dad would cook Spam and junket, or pizza and junket, and if Mom and Dad couldn't be there, then there would be a relative or a neighbor or someone else to provide for us. We didn't have to question anything. We could just live and do what we were told and all was well (mostly).
I really wish I could find this kind of faith in the Father in Heaven. I really wish I could learn how to be a child again, and not worry to much. Yes, the tasks I've been given are far more complicated and are time-bound, but within those times, there are many moments...why can't I just live those moments and TRUST in God to provide any additional direction?
I'm still worried about paying for Grad school. (Incidentally, I got the grade on my last paper today...a 98! God is so good, and John Paul II is my patron saint!). With this success under my belt, I am looking forward to further education, knowing I can do this, even if not to that level if carry a greater course load. I'm still worried about where to look for my next job because everything I worked so hard to know is useless.
So for now, the only thing I can focus upon is living in the moment, taking life one second, one minute at a time...because that's the only place where any of us can find Jesus. That's the only place we can come to understand our purpose, by asking constantly, "What is Jesus asking of me RIGHT NOW?"
Tomorrow will take care of itself...the Gospel makes this so clear, but how many of us heed those words?