My three year old son found a page of stickers today that had been sent to me in the mail a long time ago. They were designed for scrapbooking and had various words on them. He happily went around our house, placing them here and there. I instructed him that it was okay to put stickers on paper and people, but not on furniture. It kept him quite busy so I did not really mind where they ended up.
Later in the evening, while giving my one year old daughter a "horsie ride" on my knee, I noticed the two stickers he had place on his sister's shirt: child and present. I kept repeating the words over and over in my mind: Child, present... present, child. I thought, she is a present to our family, sent by God to give us so much joy and to teach us patience, along with the vital skill of covering our ears quickly when she shrieks in protest. Then, another thought came to mind. Children live in the present.
She does not understand the concept of yesterday or tomorrow yet. Even "in a minute" has no meaning for her. She knows what she is experiencing now. She lives in the present with no regrets for the past and no worries about the future. My daughter, like all young children, is completely immersed in whatever task she is involved in.
What a gift living in the present is.
If I were to leave all my regrets behind and cast aside my worries for the future, could I too immerse myself more fully in the present? Could I save precious time, freeing up those moments I used to waste contemplating things I have no control over? Then, I would not miss the giggles of my children as they run through the yard. I would not miss the opportunity to pray for a friend when she came to my mind. I would be free to be where I am in the moment, like a child.
"Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?" Matthew 6:27 NIV
Holy Father, I know I am given the same 24 hours in my day as everyone else. Help me to not waste them on regrets or worrying. Show me how to live in the present fully, like my daughter. I do not want to miss the opportunities that are right in front of me now. Amen.