Too often when I stop and catch my thought pattern I find I am distracted by what has happened, reliving the what and when and how over and over, or I’m preoccupied with what is coming ahead, the to-do list, the maybe, the unknown I’m trying to control. In either instance I am very rarely focused on where God is with me. My thoughts are inward.
God’s gentle voice calls me out of that headspace and slowly I am attuning my heart to follow where it leads, and often where it leads it to the moment right before my eyes. The more I discipline myself to practice the present moment I see that it has nothing to do with the human construct of time, instead, it draws our attention to the thin veil that separates our world with heaven and in that space, we meet God and we experience joy.
God has given me wise teachers in life who are always attuned to the present in the form of my three small children. Children are not distracted with what has been or what the future might hold, they have no concept of time. At any given moment I know exactly what my children are thinking and feeling, engrossed in story time, building a world of make-believe, feeling the deep hurt after falling off a bike, or the disappointment of no dessert. They feel happiness and fear and sadness and all the things I believe because they are so present to their true selves at that moment.
One day I was playing with my three year old and he kept getting frustrated with me. I realized I wasn’t having much fun either and then I realized it was because I wasn’t actually playing. I was thinking of all the things I should be doing, could be doing. And then it hit me, be present to this moment, the one that is gifted me right now. As I could fully give myself over to play I felt peace and I felt joy and happiness and fun. I connected with myself and my son deeply and when we do that, we always connect with God as well.
I think back to the moment I sat at my father’s death bed and watched his last breaths slip away. I characterize that moment as feeling the deepest joy and deepest sorrow in my life. I felt deeply because I was present deeply to the thin veil. At that moment I knew God presence and I knew my true self to be present.
If we want to be people who are fully alive then I believe we must be people who are fully present. Perhaps this is just one more way we must become like little children to inherit the kingdom of God. The smaller the child the less the false self has guarded them off and so the easier it is for them to just be present. Today let us listen to the gentle voice that calls us to him.