Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Philippians 4:11-13
I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

If only there was a continuous flow of contentment in our lives from day-to-day maybe there wouldn't be as many suicides a year or people diagnosed with depression each year. Lately I have found myself searching for that middle ground, the area in between chaos and boring, the area know as contentment. You know I am always having to re-evaluate myself, my relationships, and my surroundings. Well, this is the time of year when I think those kind of things weigh more on people than any other time of the year (hence New Year's resolutions). However, while re-evaluating myself, relationships, and my surroundings I found myself focusing on the past and the future, as if I could change or control either one. I became so busy planning and stressing over what tomorrow may bring and regretting what I have done and forgot to do yesterday that I never thought about today. The wheels in my head began turning. How can I be content today when I am fearful of tomorrow and regretful of yesterday? Simple, I can't.

"We crucify ourselves between two thieves: regret for yesterday and fear for tomorrow." Fulton Oursler

So, there I was crucified between regret for yesterday and fear for tomorrow and not one thought of today. I want to be obedient and live a life pleasing to God and I sit here frustrated day in and day out because I can't see God's work in my life and feel as if He has restricted His blessings from me and my family and that's just how it is and will be. Never did I consider the fact that I was the one holding myself back. It is sort of like being in school. You tend to miss important lessons which would have helped you on your current test or project if you don't show up and participate or you choose to be absent from today's lesson. Looking at it from that point of view I started wondering how many of God's lessons and blessing did I miss today or over look because they were not as important as tomorrow or what I missed yesterday. So, how can I expect God's blessings to the fullest when I can't even trust Him and be obedient and participate in the here-and-now?

Matthew 25:21 "You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many."

So, if I want to be content in the here-and-now what can I do, and where do I need to start? Simply put I spend most of my time regretting the past or reliving a moment of my past. This made it more obvious where I needed to start. There is a lot of dark and dirty secrets that I refuse to confront (as if God doesn't know) I can't be content in the "NOW" while hiding parts of my heart and life from the past that are stained. So, I prayed for the strength, and wisdom to sort out those parts of my life and deal with them and let them go. In other words accept them and move past them. These dark secrets have over the years formed ugly habits that needed to be torn down and rebuilt if I expected some contentment today.

Continuing on with my evaluation of myself I realized that the rest of my day after wasting the first half regretting or reliving my past was being wasted on fearing the future (as if I could control it). With this issue at hand I hit the Bible for some reading. I recalled this verse: Matthew 6:26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Why am I stressing when He has already promised He will provide.

Living in the now seems like common sense until we track our thoughts for the day. Everybody desires to be content and at peace. Contentment can't happen today if we are busy regretting yesterday and fearing tomorrow. This was becoming more and more clear, and this was something I desired to change about myself, but it is not so easy. Seems like there is something everyday that erupts a part of my past I either regret or don't want to let go, and then as the evening sets and the realization that today is over and I wasted it on yesterday I start stressing, fearing, and trying to plan tomorrow. If I desired to tear down and rebuild these habits of mine I knew I was going to need God's help, wisdom, insight, and support. I had to let go of the questions that filled my every thought such as "what if" and "why". Each time those questions pop into my head I have to ask myself "Am I ok NOW?" Then if it's an issue from my past I ask God for the strength to confront it and let it go. If it's anxiety or fear of tomorrow I have to remind myself that God loves me so much and if He takes care of the birds then He will surely take care of me. From there I try to be creative in the way I see things and handle things so that I don't find myself repeating old habits that I created from my past. I try to be more observant and thankful for the things going on around me which allows me to focus on the here-and-now with the act of thankfulness. The more aware I am of my thoughts and actions (and flaws) the more I am able to confront them and change them so that I don't have to sit around wasting time on regrets of yesterday and fears of tomorrow and I am able to see God's work, follow God's plan, and grow spiritually into a closer more intimate relationship with the one I love and who loves me for me! This is ultimately my goal for the NOW and all my days to follow. So, as they say, "yesterday is the past tomorrow has yet to come and today is a gift that is why it is called the present."

Matthew 11:28-29
"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls."

John 14:27
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

John 16:33
"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."