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DEVOTIONAL: Live In The Present

Author and pastor Randy Huff praised “living in the here and now” in his recent column, “The Mystifying Present: Another Look at Tinker Creek.” Pondering Huff’s thoughts in my mind the past few days, this morning I was enjoying a coffee and a devotional from “The Word for You Today,” also on the topic of living in the present moment.

Right then I saw two birds I didn’t immediately recognize, near the bluebird box in our backyard. They were gray like a mockingbird but had the shape and size of a bluebird. Then it hit me: they were juvenile bluebirds, just having left the nest. They had the size of adults but not the color yet.

In the five or so years we’ve had a bluebird box there, a nesting pair have raised two or three broods each season, but we’ve never seen any of the babies leave the box.

Dashing inside to tell my family about the discovery, I came back about two minutes later and the birds had vanished. That got me thinking: in the five or six weeks it takes bluebirds to build a nest, incubate the eggs, and feed the fledglings, the young suddenly disappear.

I was thankful to be “present” at that moment to see the fledglings venture out into the world, which got me thinking again. How much of life do we miss, because we’re not focused or aware? Moreover, why does it seem so hard to live in the present, when there’s so much pressure to live in the past or future?

It’s easy to live in the past, either longing for “the good old days” when life seemed better, or else endlessly kicking ourselves for regrets of bad things we did or golden opportunities we ignored.

Likewise, it’s easy to live in the future, either filled with hope about what might happen, or else filled with fears about what we hope does not happen.

Clearly, we need to learn from the past and plan for the future (Proverbs 6:6-11). But, we should not live there. Because at the end of the day, the only time we have to live, take action, make decisions, have that crucial conversation, speak that encouragement, or experience anything, is right now.

Have you made peace with God through Jesus Christ? The Bible tells us, “For God says, ‘At just the right time, I heard you. On the day of salvation, I helped you.’ Indeed, the ‘right time’ is now. Today is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2 NLT).

Life “right now” is a gift. That’s why it’s called the Present.

S.D.G./S.G.D.

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