Sunday, 9 March 2014

In the Moment!

Maybe some have been wondering - 'what's up with David, is it a midlife crisis (perhaps), why is he doing all these weird things (like running a marathon or performing a Maori haka)'.  I guess I can attribute it to the fact that I have decided to follow my own advice.  Funny, huh?  After how many years of giving this advice, I now decide to follow it!?  ;-)

maori kowhaiFor years I have told people to live in the present.  I told people - 'Don't worry about the past because Jesus has got your back.  Don't worry about the future because God holds it in his hands.  So live in the moment, live in the present.  Make the most of everyday'.  Great advice.  For someone else.  At least that was what I thought.

But it occurred to me that I needed to take this advice myself.  Now, living in the present means different things for different people.  For me, it means challenging myself every day or week or year to do something I don't normally do, to experience new things and to live MY life to the fullest - today.  And that's key - I am the only one ever born who can live MY life to the fullest.  No one else can.  On the same note I CANNOT live someone else's life to the fullest either - they must!  I can't copy others - I can only be me and live my life, with all its (and my) quirks, weirdness, fun, monotony, people, loves and hates, etc.  I can be inspired by others and their lives, but I cannot copy them nor live their lives.

In fact, last week, when I was at Uni residency and doing the Maori Culture and Language course, it hit me again.  The Maori worldview is very much about being in the moment, living in the present.  It acknowledges where a person comes from, their whakapapa (genealogy).  This is very important in Maori culture, but it is also very much about the now - onāianei.  Just what I have been telling people all this time!  Live in the now!  Live today!  Jesus put it in the negative - 'do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things.  Sufficient for the day is its own trouble' (Mat 6.34).    So I'm living in the moment, in the now, challenging myself each day to live to the fullest.

So that's why you have seen some 'crazy' (but what is crazy anyways - it's all relative) things in the past few years from me.  I have been challenging myself to live each day in the present.  I have challenged myself sacrificially (donating a kidney), physically (started running and doing half and full marathons), intellectually (Uni studies) and now linguistically (trying to learn te reo Maori).  Also, I am relatively shy and introverted, but I am forcing myself to meet new people and putting myself in situations where I must - huge challenge!  And there will be more challenges - each one aimed at helping me live in the present.

Now, to live in the present, I must recognize who I was, who I am, and who I am becoming.  It also involves where I came from, where I am presently and where I am going.  I WAS a sinner, I AM a child of God and I am BECOMING a follower of Jesus.  I came FROM the road to hell, I live NOW on earth as a sojourner and I am ON MY WAY home to heaven.

Paul understood this, he writes in his letter to the Philippians that he was putting the past behind him and presently pressing forward.  And he had a destination, a goal - the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus - 'Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead,  I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus' (Phil 3.13-14).

So who are you?  Where are you now?  Whose life are you living?  Yours?  Your parents'?  Society's?  Are you living in the moment?  In the present, now?