More often than not, I wake up in the morning and think of any number of countdowns: 3 hours until storytime at the library, 15 days until we leave for FOCUS training, etc. As I go through the day, I look at the clock and almost instantly calculate how long it is until my daughter’s naptime, my husband gets home from work, and the like. In a way, this isn’t necessarily a bad habit because it keeps me focused on the time I have and try to make the most of it. On the other hand, it can become a bad habit because I’m always waiting for the next thing to happen instead of appreciating the present moment.
Usually this habit of mine ends up being a not so great one because it steals my focus from the present as I wish away the hours between the current moment and whatever milestone I’m awaiting. There are days, of course, that the reminder of something else happening – be it naptime, Daddy coming home from work, or my own bedtime – keeps me going as I’m reminded that this too shall pass. However, as I get in the habit of wishing time away, I am really only doing myself and my family a disservice.
The fact of the matter is that God calls us to each and every moment we experience. Some are difficult. Some are filled with whiny children and poopy diapers. Others are filled with hugs and kisses from the ones we love the most. If we wish away those difficult moments, staring at the clock, praying it would turn faster, then we probably wouldn’t appreciate those happy moments nearly as much.
How do you handle times like this? Do you look at the clock or the calendar (or perhaps the timeline you’ve set out for your life) and wish it were some other time? If you can rest in the present moment, how do you find joy in it?
I know I’m far from perfect in this area, especially with exciting things on the horizon, but I’m doing my best each day to look at the clock less and enjoy the present moment a little more. If God is calling me to the here and now – which He is – then what does He want me to learn from this moment? What thing, virtue, lesson, or experience is God trying to teach me or share with me? Am I open to experiencing what He wants me to experience, or am I too busy wishing away the present for some other shiny thing around the corner? I hope that with each passing moment I can be more and more open to what He wants to show me, rather than what I hope to glean – or pass by – in this life.