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LIVE THE PRESENT
During the second world war, Dr.Deil Carnery was working in a military hospital. There was a soldier by name Benher, who was brought to Dr. Deil for stomach ache. Dr. Deil examined him and treated him for stomach ache for some time. But he found out that he was suffering from mental sickness rather than physical ailment. The work which was assigned to him by the army brought about tension in his life.
The work which is assigned to him was to take stock of the people who died in the war and also arrange for the funeral of the deceased soldiers. He began to worry about his life and if he were to die one day he would not be able to see his wife and children. This thought came to his mind and he could not be peaceful and happy. His fear and insecurity of his life affected his mental balance and he became psychologically ill.
There are people in the world who worry about the past experiences and wounds and hurts and brood over them and they become depressed and discouraged. The past experiences have a value in our lives and they teach us certain lessons. But they should not take the entire space of our present life. What is lost in the past is lost. We should allow the past to bury itself. The present moment is important. The present activities should become the investments for the future. It is only God who is same yesterday, today and tomorrow. We should not unnecessarily worry about the future and spoil the present. Jesus says, “Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you being anxious can add one cubit to his span of life?” (Mt 6,26-27). Too much of planning for the future sometimes could lead to the danger of losing the present and the future, as future is not in our hands. We are not sure what lies ahead of us. Besides, we should not be lazy without minding our present responsibilities. Jesus speaks about the lazy steward who failed to make use of his talents in the present,”You wicked and slothful servant you know that I reap where I have not sowed and gather where I have not winnowed? …So take the talent from him, and give it to him who has the ten talents. For, to everyone who has, will more be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who has not, even what he has will be taken away” (Mt 25, 26-29).
There is a Chinese proverb, “We cannot stop the birds flying over our heads but we can stop building their nests on our heads”. Similarly, often we don’t feel the weight of our burdens unless we carry them for a long time. Hence we should not carry our difficulties by brooding over them. Jesus says, “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Let the day’s own trouble be sufficient for the day” (Mt 6, 34). Again, Jesus calls us “Come to me, all who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Mt 11, 28-30).
A Japanese warrior was captured and thrown into prison. At night he could not sleep for he was convinced that he would be tortured next morning. Then the words of his master came to him: “Tomorrow
is not real. The only reality is now”. So he came to the present and fell asleep. Buddha once said, “Anyone who is able to be totally present in each fraction of a second is holy”.
The past is lost, the future is in the hand of God and only the present is with us. Living the present moment is like a sacrament, for in it, we encounter God.