“If you must look back, do so forgivingly. If you must look forward, do so prayerfully. However, the wisest thing you can do is be present in the present…gratefully.” ~ Maya Angelou
I know that I have reflected upon this theme more than a few times in the past but it bears repeating many times over. Too many people live either in the past or the future. They lament or rue things that have happened or things they may have done or left undone in the past or they plan, strategize, and stress over what might come in the future. The biggest problem with all of that is it prevents them from living in the moment.
“If you must look back, do so forgivingly.” What sage advice! A lot of people look back and cannot forgive themselves for things that have happened. They wish they could do things over. They wish they could go back to make different decisions as the ones they made in the past may have brought harm to themselves, loved ones, or others. They need to forgive themselves or others and move on. God might be the God of all ages; but, God doesn’t want us to live in the past. He knows how unhealthy that is for us.
“If you must look forward, do so prayerfully.” Also sage advice! When we get ourselves too bogged down in the future, we tend to put it all on ourselves. We work and scheme and plan so that what we want can come about. We begin to think that we are the architects of our own future. In doing so, we cut God out of our future plans and even out of our lives. If we look forward prayerfully, we will remember to place our hopes and dreams and plans in the hands of God and ask Him to bless them. That way, we remind ourselves of the proper relationship that we have with God.
“The wisest thing you can do is be present in the present…gratefully.” Glancing at the past and/or learning from the past is good and healthy. Living in the past is not. Looking toward the future is fine as long as we do it prayerfully, trusting God. However, what we need to do more than anything else is to be present in the present and to be present in the present with gratitude. God is the one who brought us through the past and God is the one who walks with us into our future. If we ground ourselves and this day in the Lord with gratitude, we will be at peace.
FAITH ACTION: Keep your eyes open to all that comes your way today. Ask God for the help you might need in today’s difficulties and thank God for the many blessings you receive this day.