I have often de-cluttered: my desk, my basement, my finances (a lot still to do here). Once, I even sat down and reorganized my wallet with a self-challenge to make it 1/3 thinner. I’m happy to say that it now easily slips into my pocket and rests easier on my mind (and I actually know what’s in it).
But there is one space that I find difficult to de-clutter. Ironically, it is the most spacious of all the spaces I possess, yet remains the most cluttered.
That space? It is the present moment. Yes, I have trouble de-cluttering my “now.”
Like my calendar, my “now” has to-dos pasted all over it like sticky notes (let’s call that “guilt”). Like my basement, my “now” is piled up with unfinished projects (let’s call them “regrets”). And like my finances, my “now” is also stacked with bills (“unconfessed sin”) and the I.O.Us that others owe me (“resentments”). This junk is piled high, having accumulated over many years. It completely crowds out the experience of now, which God made to be airy and full of light.
So OK, that’s next. I will de-clutter a present moment – this present moment.
So I pause from tapping out these words…..I push aside these distractions. And I see—no, I sense—the sheer gift of “now.” It is all around me. It is where I experience—the only place I could possibly experience—the fullness of life. If you do pause and manage to “get inside” (so to speak) the present moment, you realize how wide it is, how “always” it is. You remember that this experience, this in-the-moment awareness, is what life consists of. This is what God gave Adam on that first morning. It is what God gave you on your first morning. And you wonder how you could have forgotten the astonishment. You wonder why you waste it.
When I do remember, I see that I’ve had this gift all along: waking in my bed, driving in my car, sitting in conversation. This gift is mine, more surely mine than any material possession. It is my first grace, my inheritance, my domain. Mine to do with as I please.
And if I have freedom to inhabit my present moment as I choose, then why pack it tight with guilt, regret, and resentment? Why not receive it as the gift it is, and stretch out, breathe, and be grateful?
Roger Edwards joined The Barnabas Center in 1991. He works with both individuals and couples, helping people confess their need and embrace their available choices to lead healthier lives. Roger also teaches and leads discussion groups and retreats applying the Gospel to everyday life. He is a licensed clinical mental health counselor (LCMHC), holds a master’s degree in biblical counseling from Grace Theological Seminary in Indiana and a bachelor’s degree in engineering from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He is married to Jean; they have seven children and nine grandchildren.
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