Probably one of the most difficult lessons I have ever had to relearn is the discipline of living while I live. I say relearn because I find myself needing to be taught this lesson over and over again. Sounds crazy that you can forget to enjoy living while you are busy at life but it is so true.
Living while you live is much like breathing while you walk, forget to do either and the trip will be a short one. Specifically living while you live is to take in the good things God has given and enjoy God Himself while you go through life.
At times the deadlines, struggles, difficulties take center stage and we forget what we have and who we are in Christ. I would love to say that this is a one-time lesson and when you get it you’ll never have to deal with it again, but with life’s twists and turns we easily get disoriented and forget that God gave us life to enjoy.
Living consists of much more than respiration.
It is much deeper than consciousness. Living is the discipline of drinking in and tasting the moments, it is being fully present in the relationships God has blessed you with, it is noticing and celebrating a sunrise with your husband or wife, it is watching and actually seeing your kids grow.
You will find that when you replace living with life’s busyness you will have huge gaps in your memory. Why? Because you weren’t paying attention, you were busy. I call it living in the land of “ing”… DoING, EarnING, WorryING, or gettING. Very often we are so distracted with life that days, months, and even years pass without our engagement.
Be Here Now
You have forgotten to live when your Child takes his or her first steps and your not there to applaud. You have forgotten to live when your spouse sits alone on the back porch enjoying the breeze of spring while you hammer away on your laptop keys.
You have forgotten to live when someone’s criticism of you lingers in your mind and causes you to miss a moment of time with your family. You have forgotten to live when deadlines, document feeds, deliveries, debacles all distract you from divine moments of life.
Happily enjoying the moment God has given you implies that instead of being fixated on the events of yesterday or what could possibly happen in the future, you are just here, presently. Jesus told us to not fixate on the future, “tomorrow has enough troubles of its own.” It’s connected with stopping living life on this autopilot and staying right in the happiness available to us now, the joy of life itself!
While you are out strolling in your neighborhood, pay attention to the very act of walking and how miraculous that is. Notice the feeling of your legs and feel the ground under your feet. Turn your face upward and feel the warm rays of the sun. whenever you are eating a snack or a meal, take slow and meaningful bites, savoring the flavors and the textures in your mouth. Pause and truly taste the food you are eating, instead of shoving it down while multitasking on your phone. If you have kids, every time that you are playing with your little monsters, listen to them deeply and look at them and really see them, without flinching. Zero-in on how they affect your emotions and feel the gratitude and happiness rise inside of you.
These moments are our opportunity taking it all in, and begin living this life. These moments provide us with a phenomenal opportunity to take a step back and acknowledge and appriciate what is right in front of us. Happiness, true happiness is not dependant on a future or a past, but a recognition of the gift from God in the form of the “present.” These fleating glimpses directly reduce stress and anxiety in our life. Being aware of the gift of this life helps keep your body working and mind working right, and giving you room to experience more happiness and joy. Does it get any better than that?
As we push past all the automated activities of each day to enjoy the magic of the day the Lord has made. In this space, our mind and heart will find the peace that passes all understanding and find the rest our soul craves. This is where the sun rays of the Happiness of the Holy Spirit can fill the dark corners of our mind and give us Life abundant.
Forgetting to live is like going through life with muted hearing, blurry vision, bland taste buds, color blind, and in a drug funk. You miss out on the saturation of color God is painting your life with. Worst of all is you miss the experience. Money can be made up, careers can be rebuilt, failures can be fixed, but lives cannot be re-lived. Live now.