Sometimes the notion of my existence in this present moment is almost more than my mind can manage. To be and to know that I am—and that I am now, but was not anything at all once—is a mental acrobatic feat I cannot attempt too often without straining something.
What is the beginning of time? How could it just start? And yet, how can it be that anything (even time) always was? I can neither fathom forever backwards in time nor comprehend the nothing that preceded the something.
As someone who believes in God and eternity, my belief falls very short of understanding. It is like an equation with too many variables that I can’t solve for why I am here or the meaning of life. Late at night—sleepless nights—it’s enough to make my very existence (and consciousness) feel very inconvenient. How does one fall into the finality of sleep while pondering the infinite?
I envy those people who are so taken up by the present moment that they don’t dwell too much on the past or impose upon tomorrow and beyond. I envy those who can let the unfathomable be what it is without trying to define or comprehend it—those who don’t try to set borders upon the boundless—those who are at peace with not knowing the unknowable.
I once heard the Christian life compared to being a loyal dog. Perhaps because I’m a dog person, I’d also like to be a canine-like Christian. The loyal dog doesn’t look to see what’s on the other side of the threshold when his master calls, he just gleefully runs towards the familiar voice. That’s how I want to follow God—not second-guessing or appraising the path, just loving and trusting that I’ll be happier on His side of the threshold—happier with Him.
I want to be the type of Christian who doesn’t need to know where she’s running to (or what will happen when she gets there), because she knows whom she’s running to—and that the whom is much more important than anything else.
Especially as Christians, I believe the present calls us to contentment. It beckons us to a state of satisfaction.
That is not to say that this present moment doesn’t want us to dream. That is not to say that this present moment wants us to deny our current crises or difficulties. That is not to say that we may turn a blind or whitewashed eye to injustice or suffering. This present moment simply yearns to be received in the fullness of its complexity—the good, bad, painful, confusing, and exciting.
To live through our loves and our losses, to carry our dreams and our wounds—and to do those things while sustaining our ability for peace in the now—that is what this (and every) present moment calls us to.