I am sure when I say I’m not just living in the moment, it will surprise some people.
I don’t want to just live in the moment, because I believe that as a Christian, we have an obligation to ourselves, our families, and those around us to live in more than just this moment.
While the concept of living in the moment is equated with mindfulness, which most often leads to new age ideologies, I understand why so many people are drawn to it.
And I don’t believe it is 100% wrong.
I just believe that we need to define it better if we, as Christians, are going to talk about this.
1. I am living in this moment because I refuse to live in the past.
God has made me a new creation, and all of that stuff I did before is forgiven. Gone. Wiped away. Thrown in the Sea of Forgetfulness.
Therefore, as a new creation in Christ Jesus, I embrace my new identity and choose to live today as the child of God that I am!
2. I am living in this moment because I refuse to constantly look to the future.
Jesus said, “Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” (Matthew 6:34) And that is so true.
I don’t want to be constantly worrying about tomorrow: what tomorrow will bring, what I will eat tomorrow, what my kids will wear tomorrow, how I’ll pay my bills tomorrow.
David said, “I have never seen the righteous forsaken, nor their seed begging for bread.” Psalm 37:25
And I know that first-hand to be true. In all of my years on the mission field, I’ve never been without. My bills have never been paid late. I have always had food, clothing, and shelter.
3. I am living in this moment and I refuse to be distracted by all of the noise of social media.
My kids deserve me now.
My husband deserves me now.
They deserve to have me – all of me, not the part of me that isn’t PMing, commenting, and liking 10 other people hundreds of thousands of miles away.
So, in these contexts, yes – I want to live in the moment, but I don’t want to get stuck here. I don’t want to just live in the moment, because there is something far greater than just this moment we’re living in.
Why I Am Not Just Living In the Moment
While God gave us this moment we’re living in right now, He has given us something far greater that we must not lose sight of.
When you study history, even Medieval history up to the enlightenment era, you clearly see how people lived with a simultaneous awareness of both the physical and spiritual realms and how they interact and connect.
It was as the Enlightenment began to spread that this began to slowly diminish until today when many relegate the spiritual realm to cartoons and fiction novels.
And even many Christians who fully embrace the concept of a very real spiritual realm are hardly ever aware of it coinciding with this physical realm – how they interact and connect.
Because of this, we have almost completely lost the ability to live for eternity.
I love the old hymns – in particular turn-of-the-century hymns and mid-century hymns of the Pentecostal Renewal and quartets.
They sung about heaven so much!
There was a palpable longing for heaven and a constant looking forward to eternity. I truly believe that they knew how to both live in the moment and live for eternity at the same time.
And this is what is sorely lacking in the church today.
How Can We Live In the Moment and For Eternity At the Same Time?
I remember well a question my dad would often ask when faced with an important decision that he couldn’t find a clear answer for in Scripture.
“How does this matter for eternity?”
This question would automatically put that situation into perspective for him, because if it mattered for eternity, it needed his full attention.
However, if it was going to serve as a distraction from His God-given purpose, he knew he couldn’t go in that direction.
This question has come to my heart hundreds of times throughout the years.
How does this matter for eternity?
Does this have eternal impact? If not, is it a distraction for me – will it cause my heart to become cold and disinterested in eternal values?
Because my friends, while we should embrace every moment given to us by God, we shouldn’t embrace them so tightly that we lose sight of eternity!
We shouldn’t get so caught up in today that we can’t see heaven.
We shouldn’t allow ourselves to become so myopic that we forget that this world is not our home – we are only ambassadors here.
We are citizens of a city not made by hands whose builder and maker is God!
So, no – I don’t live just for this moment.
I live also for eternity. My eyes are fixed on heaven. My ears are tuned to a spiritual realm that more real than even this moment I’m living in right now.
Because it is a greater gift given to me than this moment I can see, smell, taste, touch, and hear.
The gift of eternity.
I live more for eternity than I live for this moment – because when this moment is gone….when I am old and grey and can barely remember this moment I’m living in now, eternity will still be before me.
I want to live for it.
I want to invest in it.
I want my heart to be completely consumed by it.
I want my passions to be seized by it.
“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” Matthew 6:33