There’s much talk these days about ‘living in the moment’, mindfulness, and practicing the presence of God. It makes sense these are popular practices given the fast-food, fast-foward lifestyles we live in western culture. Gosh, don’t we need more pauses.
In projecting ahead into the future, or living in the past, we miss the moments I consider ‘altars for thanksgiving’, basking in the glory of life we’re so freely given by a gracious God. In a Christian sense, we discover being in the moment offers so much more than mere presence. By abiding in God, we immerse ourselves in omnipotence, in the wonders of mystery, in possibilities beyond our wildest imagination, in a love greater than we can fathom. In this way moments become spectacular.
I once lived in a small anarchist town of Bolinas, California, an artistic community nestled off Route 1 north of San Francisco on the coast. A local schizophrenic woman would meander through the tiny downtown wearing real fruit tied on string hanging from her hat. I’d watch her in awe, noting how content she seemed with her colorful hat darning bananas, apples and cherries.
She made me think of the fruitfulness reaped when we abide in God through prayer, community and reading scripture and sacred writings. Through such practices we become like branches on a vine robust with fruit. Both nature and scripture tell us a good tree bears much fruit, just as dwelling in God produces The fruit of the spirit -“love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Abiding in God is the state of mystical awareness, of being receptacles of God’s gifts, of being purified and sanctified each and every breathing moment, where free from worry, coveting, plotting, planning and striving in systems and habits that cripple our souls, we find pure peace in divine moments of God’s unfolding will.
Jesus said, Remain in me, and I in you. As the branch can’t bear fruit by itself, unless it remains in the vine, so neither can you, unless you remain in me.
Being branches on the vine, we drink of Christ’s very nature, for in him we live and move and exist; as also some of the poets amongst you have said, for we are also his offspring. – Acts 17:18
May the wonder of God’s moments fill our life and open wide our hearts to the gifts we’re given with each breath.
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