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14 May – Living in the Present (No Regrets-Part 4)

If we desire to live a life of no regret, it helps to live in the present; to learn to live purposefully and proactively. To seize the day. We know we are living without regrets when we are fully engaged, alert, alive and enthusiastic in this present moment.  Delighting in today, in the now, because today is a gift from God.

The idea of being present, of being more conscious of life as it happens, may seem contradictory to those who are used to pursuing their goals, and having a clear vision and direction.  But cultivating mindfulness and embracing the present will helps us to achieve our goals and enjoy life more. We can become so focused on the future, our goals and the day to day tasks we are involved in we forget to enjoy our day. Life isn’t just about the destination, but also about the joy of the journey.

If we are only focused on where we are going we are going to miss a lot of the blessing, experiences and memorable moments along the way. Being present is an important way to enjoy life to the fullest. By being mindful, you enjoy your food more, you enjoy friends and family more, you enjoy anything you’re doing more.

What’s more if we practice not just being more mindful of our present surroundings but also become more mindful of God’s presence, then even the mundane things such as housework, cleaning, or whatever we find boring can be times of experiencing His supernatural presence in a tangible way.  Try it; wash dishes or sweep or cook, and remain fully present and mindful of God’s presence all around you. It takes practice, but when we slow down, and think of Him, even the mundane can become special.

Brother Lawrence who sought to stay aware of God’s presence continually said, “We ought not to be weary of doing little things for the love of God, who regards not the greatness of the work, but the love with which it is performed.”

He does not ask much of us, merely a thought of Him from time to time, a little act of adoration, sometimes to ask for His grace, sometimes to offer Him your sufferings, at other times to thank Him for the graces, past and present, He has bestowed on you, in the midst of your troubles to take solace in Him as often as you can. Lift up your heart to Him during your meals and in company; the least little remembrance will always be the most pleasing to Him. One need not cry out very loudly; He is nearer to us than we think. (Brother Lawrence, The Practice of the Presence of God)

To help you live more in the present and become more mindful, think about making these practices part of your day.

1.Do tasks slowly and deliberately. Make your actions deliberate, not rushed and random. It’s better for your health and will make you a calmer person to be around.

2.Do less. If you do less, you”ll do those things more slowly, more completely, with more concentration, and therefore more proficiently.

3.Put space between things;  instead of rushing from one task to the next, give yourself some time between tasks to “catch your breathe” and gather your thoughts.

4.Spend at least 5 minutes each day doing nothing. Simply stop and rest. Don’t cram too much into one day. It just leads to stress.

5.Stop worrying about the future. Cast all your cares upon Jesus. Live more in the present, and delight in the right now. We only get today once, so make sure you enjoy it while it lasts.

“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7)

6.When you’re talking to someone, be present. Slow down your racing thoughts, look at those who are speaking to you; put away the phone and really listen.

7. Eat slowly and savor your food. Enjoy each bite, and really get the most out of your food. You’ll probably end up eating less, will compliment the cook more (which is always a good thing), and will digest your food better.

8.Live slowly and savor your life; its a gift so enjoy it as much as you can.Just as you would savor your food by eating it more slowly, do everything this way; slow down and embrace each and every moment.

9.Listen and look around you at the sights and sounds. The world is full of wonderful things. Imagine how you would behave if you were a tourist in an amazing foreign place. Practice being a tourist in the place you live; you might be amazed at what’s  been right in front of you all along.

Prayer: Lord help me to live in the present, and to not take today for granted. To live without regrets because I am fully engaged, alert, alive and enthusiastic in this present moment. Help me to delight in today,because today is a gift from you Lord. In Jesus name Amen.

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