Dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing; Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. (Phil 3:13-14)
Forgetting the past is hard. There are things we can't forget and there are things we don't want to forget. How can we forget the pain, suffering, and grief we carry with us from our past? How can we forget the joy, the innocence, the "good old days" to which we long to return? The past is behind us. We can't change it. We must learn to live with it, but not in it.
The future on the other hand, is something to look forward to. In Christ we have the hope of eternity. We wait for the unseen eternal to be revealed in a place where there is no more suffering, no more tears, and no more goodbyes. We long to be absent from the body and present with the Lord. And yet here we are--May 20, 2010.
So what does it mean to live in the present?
It means loving the person in front of us instead of the person we miss.
It's noticing the rosebuds on our neighbor's bushes.
It's taking the time to stop and smell them.
It's using our good china with our family instead of saving it for company.
It's being thankful for what we have instead of thinking about what we don't have.
It's singing along.
It's joining the game.
It's acknowledging that God's grace is sufficient for this day.
It's loving people before they are perfect.
It's running the race.
It's pressing on.
The past is over. The future is not yet. Today is all we have. So think about the past, anticipate the future, but live today.
This is a day the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it. (Ps. 118:24)