Study: Have you ever had a time when you were not prepared to be “in the moment” and you missed something special? How can you be more aware and attentive to the present?
Pray: Ask the Lord for guidance to both live in the present moment and plan for the needs of future.
Serve: Who needs help right now? How can you respond with faith, hope, and love?
My universe is constructed by my desk calendar. Without that simple little book I wouldn’t know what was the next event or who was the next person I needed to see. My calendar keeps me on track, and it helps me to use my time as effectively as possible.
Often I find myself scheduling events weeks and even months in advance. From weddings to workshops, holidays, concerts, sacraments, meetings, planning committees….indeed the list keeps going as I use my calendar to organize the many events that are part of my life.
Yet I know I am not alone. Most households have “the calendar” – that monthly planner that coordinates sports schedules with doctor’s visits, conferences, dances, fundraisers, parties, and a host of other personal activities. The calendar informs us about who needs to be where, when and with whom.
While calendars help keep us focused on what lies ahead, they do pose a danger. We can get so caught up in what is coming that we forget to pay attention to what is currently going on. In other words, we may risk losing the present moment when we worry too much about the future to come.
As we come to the end of the Church year, we focus on the “end times.” People wondered when the world would end, and they worried about what the future would bring. Yet amidst their anxiety about the future, we discover two central themes.
First, as Christians we do believe that the world will end. We hold that there is a judgment and we trust that our faith in Jesus will lead us to the Kingdom of Heaven.
Second, while we believe that the world will end, we also believe that no one knows when this event will occur. Jesus himself reminds the crowds in the Gospel that many signs and events will happen, and many will claim that they have significance. Yet the Lord reminds us that these portents are simply part of the world.
We find ourselves then, planning for the future even as we concentrate on living in the moment. We plan and we hope; but in the end the best we can do is live this day with all our heart, trusting that God will place opportunities where we can live our faith, confident in the future to come.