Stop looking ahead…


Has anyone else heard it?  The dizzying sound of the year whizzing by?

I’m not the only one. I’ve heard so many people say, Where is the year going? How is it nearly Summer already?

It seems that time is moving faster, but then should we be surprised when we live in a culture which is constantly looking to the future?  

I work in an environment where by necessity, we’re planning 6-12 months in advance.  In the New Year, we’re planning Easter. At Easter, we’re planning the Autumn.   But I’m not alone.  Everyone, everywhere is always planning ahead, diaries filling up with social activities weeks in advance, holidays booked seasons earlier, trends and fashions being predicted….it’s all about the future, about what’s next.

But what about right now?

I was away for a few days over New Year with a friend who’s a specialist in the ‘right now’. 

Some things have to be planned (she acknowledges that) but lots of things don’t have to be, and so for those few days she refused to let me plan anything beyond the moment we were in.   

At lunch, I was considering options for dinner.  At dinner, I was googling adventures for the next day, all the while forgetting to be in the present.

Me:  Shall we go to that museum tomorrow?

Friend:  It’s not tomorrow yet. See how we feel then.

And later…

Me:  Should we see what there’s to  do by the river tomorrow?

Friend:  Yeah, maybe…we’ll look tomorrow…you know, when it’s tomorrow.

And do you know what happened? As I allowed myself to ease out of control freakery and into an awareness of ‘now’, time seemed to slow down.   In the end, two days felt like a week and the business of taking things moment by moment, eased the pressure of life.

Perhaps this is why Jesus said to stop worrying about tomorrow, what we’ll eat, what we’ll drink, what we’ll wear.   Just deal with the issues of today, stop looking ahead to what tomorrow might bring.

It’s s real discipline and after 48 hours, one I’ve definitely not cracked.  But then it’ll take repeated practice, living for the right now, not for the what’s-to-come.

I want to learn to really enjoy today. Perhaps if I do, 2016 might just slow down.