Do you catch yourself often looking forward to the future, or stressing about it rather than soaking up the present moment? If you're anything like me, and most of the general population, you do.
It's so darn easy to let your mind drift off. To let it worry about an upcoming task, or make an idol of an exciting event in the future.
In high school, this looked like living for the weekend; sitting in class, staring down the ticking clock, in hope of speeding along time. For some reason though, the weekend was never quite how I had glorified it in my mind.
Sure, there are beautiful, exciting things in the future that merit looking forward to. Going out with friends or having a pizza night with my family was definitely more fun than Humane Letters class. Yet my anxiety was still present Friday night through Sunday... reminding me of an upcoming Physics presentation or difficult test.
Crazily enough- those presentations and tests which loomed over my head, as well as the relaxing weekends, did eventually happen and pass by! They passed, and instead were replaced by a new worry or hope which would serve as a thief of the current moment.
From observing those older and wiser than me, this is a universal struggle- and is not limited to us teenagers and young adults.
The temptation to allow future moments (or past) to steal the current ones will be ever present.
We can train ourselves to deny this temptation, however. We can learn to soak up every moment- slow conversations, music playing on the stereo while we wipe dirty counters, the rain on the roof keeping rhythm with your pencil, solving Algebra homework.
It appears to me that living in the moment, to our fullest capability, is a lifelong journey. It takes intentional effort every moment of every day. It does get easier, though. Every time you choose to look deep in the eyes of the person you're in conversation with, instead of indulging yourself in distracted worry, you will become a bit more capable of that feat. Every time you take a moment to recognize the sacredness of the present moment, you will be that much more equipped to do so in the next.
We must learn to pray, hope and not worry (thank you St. Padre Pio!) to fully live in the moment.
This present moment is irreplaceable, sacred, precious. Do not let the enemy steal its beauty from you!
Here's to this very moment and the lifelong journey of learning to fully live in it!