Where do you live these days?
- Do you live in the past?
- Do you live in the present?
- Do you live in the future?
Where we live can make or break each one of us. Let’s take a look at these three neighborhoods and, for the record, I have lived in each one of them and have found the “Present” neighborhood most favorable.
Living In The Past
When we live in the past we usually dwell on past success or failure. If we live with past success we can get stuck remembering the "good ole' days." Living in past success is just as unhealthy as living in past failure. Someone once said, "When our memories outnumber our dreams the end is near."
Living with past mistakes keeps us pinned to a choice we made or choices we made and there is nothing the enemy wants more than to keep us stuck in the past. Our past does not define us. If you don't believe me take a look at a post called the 6 Words That Will Change Your Life. If you don't want to look it up the 6 words are, "Up Until Now" & "From Now On."
We often look back at our past mistakes and say, "If only I..." Listen, we all have past regrets. Hindsight always sees 20/20. Thank God, and Paul for writing these words, "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." Philippians 3:13-14
I think the best thing we can do with our past is learn from it, not live in it. Put up a for sale sign, it's time to move.
Living In The Future
Modern technology has helped us move in to the future (and be distracted in the present). Social media, texting, and the ability to always be "on" and "working" has given us the ability to remove ourselves from the present moment and live in the future. We are preoccupied and paralyzed with what's next.
Restlessness, worry, and anxiety are what we feel when we move from the present to the future. We can hardly sit down and have a conversation with someone without being interrupted with a smartphone alert, text or our own mind jumping forward with distraction to something in the future.
It feels like we are loosing our ability to be mindful and in the moment. We are reminded to not, "worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done." Philippians 4:6 NLT. Jesus Himself tells us, "not to worry about everyday life" & "don’t worry about tomorrow." Matthew 6:25 & 34 NLT
We are reminded of these things because, "worry weighs a person down." Proverbs 12:25 NLT
Living In The Present
The price of living in the present is mindfulness and connection. I describe mindfulness as living in the moment with your mind, will and emotions. Connection with God and others is a moment by moment discipline that allows us to be open to hearing, really hearing, from God and others.
Minus the distraction of the past or future we can be open, in the moment, to hearing what God is saying now. The still small voice of God, our family, or our friends crying out to us for a moment without distraction.
I believe the best neighborhood is the present. No regrets, no worries just moment by moment connection with God and face to face encounters with others.
If your not happy with living in the past or the future perhaps it's time for a move to the present.
- When we live in the past regret is our neighbor.
- When we live in the future worry is next door.
- When we live in the present, mindfulness, contentment and joy are all in the neighborhood.
1. Where are you currently living?
2. What is keeping you there?
3. How will you move to the present?