On today’s run, God just poured the ideas I will share in this post into my heart and it all started first thing in the morning with this greeeting in the living room:
For underneath this blanket in the ballooned air from the vent, was a little girl giggling with delight at the warm cocoon she was in. My mind flashed back to 2 weeks ago when I must have said something about the fact that it was getting colder again, to which she said, “oh I can’t wait!! Then I can wake up to the warm air coming out of the vents and I can cuddle up until breakfast!”
So, seeing her there I knew this: she was thinking of nothing else but that at that moment, she was perfectly happy, perfectly content.
Oh the lessons of a child. On my run, I pondered this. I pondered the percentage of time, a young child, such as this, spends thinking about the past, present, and future.
I realized when I did this little estimation the secret to her joy – she lives in the NOW. When a baby is born they are 100% in the present in every thought. As children grow up, they slowly start adding some thoughts to their repertoire that include a little past thinking and a little future thinking.
I would say that my 5 year old is 90% thinking about the moment, 5% thinking about the past, and 5% thinking about the future. My 7 year old has moved into 70% now, with 20% in the past and 10% in the future. I dare not estimate my breakout.
In thinking about our 7 year old, I analyzed a bit about his past thoughts. They consist of things like past things he’s learned that allow him to keep learning (The ABCs of his 2 year old days are now 15 chapter “chapter books” that he pours through), scarey moments (“Last time I rode my bike too fast on this hill and crashed…OK, this time I’ll go slower” then Boom, he’s back in the present “Mama! Look at me! I can fly!!”), and the finally in his past storage compartment lies a few hurts he’s picked up in his little life.
It’s these hurts that continue to pile up as we gain years that ultimately can trap us more and more in the past and not release us to just be happy in the moment and to see how God could use us in that moment. It’s the lack of too many hurts that mean my 5 and 7 year old’s future thoughts are full of hope and excitment (“it’s almost my birthday!”, “When I grow up I want to be a veterinarian!” etc.) No fear in their future thoughts either…just belief, hope, and excitement.
I love it hot outside. On a 90 degree day, I will go on a 7 mile run smack dab at noon. So when I see the thermometer dip, I don’t think about the warm vent air greeting me in the morning. I think of dangerous icey roads, more colds, all these extra coats/hats/ scarves/gloves I now need to juggle for the family and just the physical pain that being cold brings me. These children in my life don’t think about all the mornings ahead of scraping frost of the car, they are just perfectly stuck in their NOW – “warm vent is cozy. I like it. I am happy”.
They embody what the Power of Now being lived out looks like. And I want that. I want to be walking my each moment, free of the yuck from the past so I am free to keep dreaming, hoping, and living my days bringing glory to HIM as I am free to worship Him with a single-mindedness that can only come when we leave baggage at the foot of the cross (our past junk) and embrace our every moment with an eye on God.
My two sprouts giggling at the vent this morning taught me so much and the Word of God formalized my lesson as I read this verse in my Bible study 20 minutes after getting back from my run:
“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.”
– Isaiah 43: 18-19