I’m sick of the acute immediacy of pain and unpleasant situations. You know, that illusion that points out that what is going on immediately is all there is and that nothing could possibly change.
Yet, we know it will change. It’s inevitable. The only constants in life are God and change, right?
This is that automatic reflex within those of us that seem to be in a constant pursuit of forward progression – to identify and annihilate anything that is not matching up with our ideal in life ..
Forward progression is great! But this hyper-sensitivity to what is not perfect can steal our joy. In fact, it can steal our entire present. It’s like “doing time” for our future. Locked in a cell of discontentment until the future comes to pass. And then, yes, then, we will be happy, right?
In my experience, I beg to differ. It’s a hamster-wheel, a rat race with no end.
A forward progressive mindset is motivating; we see what life can (and will, granted we stay focused) be like and our automatic reflexes serve us accordingly to our expectations. It’s why we always tend to get what we expect. It’s not luck, it’s not magic, it’s a gift, our ability to create whatever reality we want, and our willingness to accept that fact and apply that principle.
Deuteronomy 30:19-20 “I call on heaven and earth to witness against you today that I have presented you with life and death, the blessing and the curse. Therefore, choose life, so that you will live, you and your descendants, loving Adonai your God, paying attention to what he says and clinging to him — for that is the purpose of your life! On this depends the length of time you will live in the land Adonai swore he would give to your ancestors Avraham, Yitz’chak and Ya‘akov.”
But where do we draw the line? Oh, life, how you are such a balancing act!
Can we enjoy today and see the beauty and joy within it, to truly see it for what it is worth, and yet be moving toward the future that we have idealized in our minds?
Prayerfully, yes, I believe so.
I am reminded of a simple example. Picture this: you’re on a treadmill. You could simply look forward, focused on where you are (imaginatively) going, while running. Maybe you stare at the clock, just waiting for the time to pass. It’s rather excruciating. Or, you could, still while running, look about you and observe life. Watch TV. Watch the people in the gym. The time spent on the treadmill would indeed be more enjoyable, maybe even seem to go faster, yes?
Goals are great. But present living is also great. There is much treasure to be found in both. Finding a balance may be a key both to joy and accomplishment.
Both process/journey and results/accomplishment are important.