I am looking forward to tomorrow being over. But even more, I’m looking forward to two weeks from tomorrow being over. Why? Because…
Tomorrow is the day that my husband takes his first and most difficult set of Comprehensive Exams for his Master’s Degree, and he takes his second set two weeks later. He’s been working so hard to prepare for these tests, tests which are the culminination of five years of study. Everything rides on these tests. So, understandably, he’s been feeling stressed and nervous. Both of us will be relieved to have these tests finished, and, of course, finished well.
I was thinking about how much of their lives people spend waiting for something to be over, for something to finish. People think, “When [fill in the blank] is over, then things will be easier/life will settle down again/we’ll get back into a good routine.” It is good to get big projects finished; it gives one a sense of accomplishment to see a project through to its completion. And perhaps things do get easier for a while, but there always seems to be something else that comes along, something else that requires much of our attention, something else that we then look forward to being behind us.
Perhaps at times, however, we look at it the wrong way. Perhaps we need to find a way to have joy in the moment, whatever that moment is, and even attempt to enjoy the unpredictability of life. There is almost always something to appreciate, wherever one is. There is always something to be learned, and there is always a life that can be touched in a positive way. No matter what stage of life a person is in (or what stage one’s children are in), there is something to enjoy, something for which to be thankful.
“Living in the moment” often gets a bad rap, but it can be used correctly. A true Christian doesn’t live for the moment but does live in the moment. We look forward to heaven, but while still here on earth, we do the work that God has placed in front of us to do. We can’t spend our lives wishing we were in heaven, because we might very well miss the opportunities to share God’s love with the people he has placed in our path. This isn’t to say that we won’t ever have reason to long for the day when we finished with the problems and “daily grind” and sadnesses here on earth. But, when those longing moments are over, we need to put our focus back on the here and now.
I know that I have spent too much time wishing certain situations in which I found myself were over. I have spent too much time wishing things were different. But when I’ve been able to accept where I am and find good where I am, I’ve been a happier, more contented woman. It’s when I live in the moment that I can best focus on other people and their needs. When I live in the moment, I can be most authentically myself, because it’s no longer just about me. Living in the moment makes it possible for me to be sensitive to the people around me, and it’s in demonstrating God’s love to others, through helpful words and actions, that I find a great amount of joy.
I’m looking forward to these Comps being over. I’m looking forward to Curious J getting through her tantrum phase. I’m looking forward to being completely healthy (ie. bladder infection free) again. And I’m looking forward to problems that affect my sphere of existence being resolved, problems for which there currently aren’t any simple solutions. I don’t know if all of these things will actually happen, but until they do, I’m going to do my best not to fret about it and look ahead too much. I’m just going to be present in the here and now and be thankful for the blessings that daily surround me.
Besides, I know that God already has all the details worked out. Everything is under control, and it’s all going to work out just fine.