I was regretting the past and fearing the future.
Suddenly my Lord was speaking.
“My name is I Am.”
He paused. I waited. He continued,
“When you live in the past, with its mistakes and regrets, it is hard. I am not there.
My name is not I WAS.
When you live in the future, with its problems and fears, it is hard. I am not there.
My name is not I WILL BE.
When you live in this moment it is not hard. I am here.
My name is I AM."
, a poem by Helen Mallicoat
In the midst of this global pandemic, many questions are being asked.
How did we get here? What do we do now? Where do we go from here?
Even as we attempt to make plans for the future, there is still so much uncertainty forcing us to hold all things lightly. So what
we do? As the poem above suggests, the best thing to do is let go of past regrets and future fears and focus on living our best life now in the present.
I’ve recently rekindled a childhood hobby that has helped me practice this in a small but meaningful way. Like many people, I’ve found myself with more free time as other commitments have been cancelled or moved online, so I finally started a cross-stitch that I had purchased a while back. One stitch at a time—over and under, over and under—it has become a tool of meditation, or to use a friend’s term: thread-itation. As each small stitch adds another spot of color, a bigger picture emerges. Of course, the picture is printed on the package and a pattern provides me with detailed instructions; but like a labyrinth, even though the path is laid out, it is up to me to make the journey. I can’t just skip ahead and be done. I have to live into the moment and create the future one stitch at a time.
In a similar way, discernment isn’t about predicting or deciding the future, but rather listening to what’s happening in our lives now and following where that leads us. So take some time today to ask yourself:
How am I feeling right now? What am I excited about? What am I missing or mourning?
Invite God to enter into these feelings with you. Allow God to be ‘I AM’ actively at work in your life, co-creating with you one step at a time.