Entering the now

It’s the first Sunday of Lent and if you’re following my Lenten journal, I hope you you took the last few days to rest and listen to your inner self. In a distracted world it is too easy to lose touch with what guides you.

This past week we have been inundated with conflicting news – the tragedy in Japan, March madness, Spring Training and multi-million dollar contract negotiations (or the lack thereof), and conflict in other parts of the world. Makes you think two different things: ‘Glad it’s not me,’ and ‘Wish it were me.’ The question becomes, ‘What really matters?’ If you’ve been fortunate to live through a disaster (in the instance where you experienced one), you’ll understand that in the immediate aftermath the only things that matter, and that you are thankful for, are your own safety and the safety of those dearest to you. Everything else shrinks to triviality.

I think if you live in the moment, that is one of its blessings. Things that seemed important shrink into insignificance. There is only now. Not yesterday. Not tomorrow. My heart aches at the tragedies occurring around the world and I become less interested in the plights of the rich trying to become richer; yet, no matter our standing, we cannot avoid life and all of its beauty, wonder, and danger.

To live now is to accept that, and to cherish all your interactions, whether they are as simple as raking leaves with a loved one nearby, or as complicated as negotiating peace between parties whose focus is only on themselves. Each moment you can choose your response. But only if you are aware of the opportunity.