the spectacular now

Sometimes what we are learning and who we become in the process is even more important than what we are waiting for. -pinterest

I admit, it’s a title I’ve borrowed from a movie on netflix. I haven’t watched it, mostly because the storyline intrigues me much less than the title does, but it always sticks out to me, lingering in the suggested titles section. I think it intrigues me so much because we don’t hear people praising the ‘now’ that often. Especially now, in the first few days of the new year, it is so easy to get caught up in what is to come and who we are to be.

I am not immune to it. This year I really want to become healthy. Healthy in the sense of health that extends past just the physical but into the emotional, mental and even into the way I construct my life.

I am the type of person that shuts things down and moves on. I look to the future, I dream, I plan, I pray and then I work. It’s not necessarily a bad skill to have, to set your eyes on a goal and then pursuing it relentlessly can give you great success if the goal is right. However I have started to believe that it is not always the healthiest. Only focusing on where you are going means that your focus is never on where you are right now. This could cause one of two, or possibly both, effects.

1) You miss out on what you have right now. Through the striving for things that lied in the future I missed out on moments I had in the present. I know that I missed out on amazing moments with my friends in grade 9 because my head was so caught up in what would happen in grade 10.

2) You condemn yourself for where you are right now. Looking at myself and thinking that I am not who I am supposed to be or where I am supposed to be and out of that being discontent with where I am right now made me extremely miserable. It told me that there is something wrong with me when there really isn’t.

Both of these rob you off the gratefulness and appreciation you can have for the moment in time you are in right now. It may be hard, but God is still in it. He is the same and your standing with Him is the same. You are just as loved as you will be in whatever future you achieve because Gods love is unchanging and outside of time.

I have already started the process of finding healing and wholeness in some areas of my life that had so far been untouched. This process has been extremely frustrating for me because it forces me to take a step back on things and wait.  There are things I had to sacrifice in order to be able to do that and believe me, I have not liked it. Standing still, or feeling like you are, can be quite the restless endeavor. I constantly feel like what I want is over there but instead of rushing and running to it as fast as I can, I have to pause and take each step at its’ own time.
The irony is that if I just skipped a bunch of steps and ran there I wouldn’t actually reach the goal. It’s very deceiving, I know. I’m frustrated too.

This is where ‘the spectacular now’ ties in, because what I have begun to realize and want to implement more and more in my life is this: now counts. I think we have so overglamourized busyness in our society, in the sense of the constant striving for more. Our society always wants more and it never stops. If anything you will see people too content with where they are, not willing to grow or work. You will rarely hear someone say “I am really content where I am right now, but I still have a goal to pursue”. It’s a fine balance of vision casting and being at peace with yourself.

For me, ‘the spectacular now’ means to be okay with stopping, to not constantly wish I was already further ahead but to appreciate where I am at right now. To not have a mindset that thinks ‘Once I get there, then’ but that thinks ‘Exactly where I am right now, what’. To see how I can serve others and glorify God right where I am and with what I have now and to seek opportunities I get in this moment with the same excitement and gratitude that I would future ones. It’s about being thankful and peaceful and to meet God right here in the mess, without cutting Him out until I pull myself together in an useless attempt of earning anything of His. It’s about giving the here and now my energy and my focus, while still knowing what I am working towards.

Appreciating the now in my life is a learning curve and I am nowhere near where I’d like to be. But I choose to not beat myself up over it and rest in the truth that Gods promises don’t depend on my achievement. I hope you can do the same.

Paula

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