One of my greatest weaknesses is a lack of patience. I believe the older you get the more patient you should become. I think I may be a slow learner in that area.
Recently I was in a checkout lane at the local Wal-Mart. Not many lanes were open but there were lots of people standing in line to be checked out. I immediately thought, “20 checkout lanes and only 3 lanes open? I can’t believe it, why don’t they hire enough employees? Don’t they know I don’t have all day long? This is ridiculous.”
Reflecting back on that moment, I was not only ashamed of my outburst of anger and lack of patience, but I was also reminded of how often I neglect living in the moment. If God is fully aware of our every moment, and all our circumstances, then wouldn't it be to our benefit to take every moment and redeem it?
Maybe the Lord intended for me to be stuck in that long checkout line so that I might turn to my fellow shopper behind me and make a new friend. Maybe that person needed encouragement or maybe I needed to hear their story so that I could say to them, “How can I pray for you?”
Some of the most effective and God appointed moments have been an unplanned encounter with someone while running a shopping errand. I am learning that every moment cannot be measured by a clock or a yardstick. A time and space mentality will cause me to miss the moment. Besides, from eternity’s standpoint all we really have is the moment.
If the “moment” we are living in is uncomfortable or unpleasant it’s natural to look forward to a time when things will be better. But when we fixate on the future and focus on getting out of this season of life, we miss the nuggets of wisdom and grace that God may have for us. This is wisdom and grace that comes only as we learn to live in the moment.
Living in the moment helps us to realize that life is short and you can’t recapture the past and you can’t live in the future. All we have is the present. Psalm 39:4-5 reads, “My life is no longer than my hand! My whole life is but a moment to you.” (Living Bible)
When we fail to capture the moment we have a tendency to live without self-discipline or self-control. Our whole life is controlled by “when things get better”, rather than “God teach me what you want me to see, to know and to feel in this moment of life.” We often miss the value of suffering and what God desires to teach us in the context of the moment.
Whether your moment in life is smooth sailing or your moment in life is unpleasant and uncomfortable, I want to challenge you to live in the moment. Look for God in every moment of your life and expect to learn something that you would not have learned any other way.
I want to encourage you to consider a statement that I have recently taken to heart:
“Recognize the value of each moment. Each moment is precious because it will never come again. Wherever you find yourself, look for God in each moment and expect to learn something valuable from each situation.”