Friday, April 15, 2011

be happy now

Of late, the Lord has been dealing increasingly with me on my bad habit of worrying and wasting the present. It really is such a bad habit to jump ahead into the future and think "what if" type thoughts. I mean, it's one thing to jump ahead and think postive, uplifting thoughts, but if you're going to be all negative and self-defeating... The stupid thing is that it's just so pointless! We simply can't know the future. All we know is what we have here and now - if we keep anxiously jumping ahead, we're losing the present, what we do actually have.

There's no other way to put it, and I can only say it again and again - worrying is completely pointless, and it is a total waste of time, a total waste of the now that we do have. Luke 12:25 says, "And which of you by being overly anxious and troubled with cares can add a cubit to his stature or a moment [unit] of time to his age [the length of his life]?" (Amplified).

I've been reading Present Perfect, by psychologist Pavel Somov. The book is about "a mindfulness approach to letting go of perfectionism and the need for control". Dr Somov makes many pertinent points, including, ' "Any time you're thinking about something that no longer is or about something that isn't yet, you are thinking about something that doesn't exist. And any time you are thinking about something that doesn't exist, you're not thinking about something that does exist. Put differently, you are missing out on life. Here's how a great Soviet Georgian philosopher, Merab Mamardashvilli, conveyed the existential suicide of rumination and worry: "We often get stuck on that which does not exist. And, in so doing, we cease to exist ourselves" ' (p130 - 31).

Dr Somov's book is intelligently and well-written, but it does not factor in the powerful advantage we Christians have - God. So besides the sheer torment and pointlessness of worry and negativity from a practical standpoint, there is also the power of God at work in us and for us. Our perspective should be greater, higher, reaching beyond our small, earthly confines. The Word is full of encouragement, comfort and reassurance for all our challenging times, and I've found it helps enormously to focus on them and even repeat them out loud in faith.

For example,

Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God (Phil 4:6).

Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully (1 Peter 5:7).

Let us then fearlessly and confidently and boldly draw near to the throne of grace (the throne of God's unmerited favour to us sinners), that we may receive mercy [for our failures] and find grace to help in good time for every need [appropriate help and well-timed help, coming just when we need it] (Heb 4:16).

The Lord is my Strength and my [impenetrable] Shield; my heart trusts in, relies on, and confidently leans on Him, and I am helped; therefore my heart greatly rejoices, and with my song will I praise Him (Ps 28:7).

Unless the Lord had been my help, I would soon have dwelt in [the land where there is] silence. When I said, My foot is slipping, Your mercy and loving-kindness, O Lord, held me up.
In the multitude of my [anxious] thoughts within me, Your comforts cheer and delight my soul! (Ps 94:17-19).

For I the Lord your God hold your right hand; I am the Lord, Who says to you, Fear not; I will help you! (Isa 41:13).

I am heartily sick of fretting myself. The Bible says, "This is the day which the Lord has brought about". I will rejoice - yes, make a conscious decision, discipline myself, deliberately choose - and be glad in it.

I can't keep saying "I will be happy when...", even subconsciously, for isn't that what I'm doing when I'm not choosing to be happy now? Why wait to be happy when? Why not just be happy NOW? We can't know the future, but it is enough that we know the One who does.

(And the picture above? It's the kids managing to have an enormous amount of fun with nothing in a tiny changing room).

No comments:


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...