Photo by Alvimann on Morgue File
Write a post entirely in the present tense.
Ah, the present tense. In all honesty, I do not remember learning about verbal tenses in high school; I know we did, or at least I think so! I really did not become all that interested in grammar and such until I started studying different languages in college and graduate school. It is a funny thing, as you learn a new language, conversely, you learn much more about your own language. It is something of a two for one deal!
Well, I guess I have already blown the spirit of this prompt, seeing as I have referred to past events. Oh well. I gave it my best, well, maybe not my best.
The present tense is fair enough. After all, that is where we live our lives. We live our lives in the here and now; at least, we should. The past, while valuable for lessons learned and nostalgia, is not the place to live one’s life. Sadly, many do. Sadly many find themselves caught in a time warp matrix of memories, nostalgia, regret and hurt; a matrix that mentally and emotionally mummifies them, sinking its clutches into their mind and soul, forever chaining them to yesterday. It seems to them a safer harbor, one where every action is known, recorded and valued. There are no surprises or shocks in store. It is their own little touch of divinity: the prerogative of omniscience.
Others, go the other route, they choose to spend all their time in the future. Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow . . . yes, well . . . they prefer possibilities over reality. They prefer the unknown, the what-ifs or the maybes to the present. It seems to them more exciting; a fuller, more vibrant life. They live as though they were prophets of old, speaking oracles and declaring the apocalypse. For them, even the future, with all its uncertainty and unpredictability, seems better than the monotony of the now.
Of course, both are something of a form of escapism. The past is a mirage. It has its place, but it is not the abode of the living. It is the place of memory and former things; things that, yes, may be dear to us, but things, nonetheless, that can never sustain us. In the end, meaning will be lost there and forgotten. The future, while it may, for some, be bright and full of optimism and hope, it is never a sure thing. The future, tomorrow, even the next second, are not guaranteed. There is no promise it will ever come. In fact, the future never truly arrives, because it is always, as we live and breathe, the perpetual N-O-W. Every moment we live we live in the now. We live constantly in the present. In perpetuity we live in the NOW.
This is all the time you will ever have: right now.
Christ taught this himself when he said, Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble (Mt. 6.34). This teaching is found in the context of the Sermon on the Mount. In the immediate context, Jesus has been teaching his hearers not to be anxious. Instead of anxiety they should live by faith, trusting in the provision of God. If God takes care of the birds of the air and the grass of the field, how much more so will he provide for you. Jesus gives an addendum to all this, or a qualifier if you will, But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you (Mt. 6.33).
We are called to live by faith, not by sight. We are called to seek his kingdom and righteousness, his will and way and, if we do this, Jesus promises that all these things, that is the needs we have will be provided. No, it does not mean God will give us all of our wants, but he will provide our needs. In seeking his kingdom and righteousness we may soon learn some change is in order. We may have to forfeit some of our wants or desires or wishes or goals or dreams. We may have to submit to his will, surrendering ours in the process. We may find he will meet our needs, but in his terms, not ours.
God has given us this moment, today. We are called, as followers of Christ, to live this day, this hour, this moment unto the Lord. We are called to be his witnesses, the light of the world and the salt of the earth, NOW. And, we are to trust and seek him this moment, believing all our other moments are safely in his hands.