“The past is history, the future’s a mystery and today is a gift. That is why it is called the present.” I can’t remember where I heard this quote. Actually I think it was during the Kungfu Panda movie… But that small fact is sadly irrelevant. The reason I started this post with that particular quote is because it so perfectly describes an issue on which I have been dwelling for the last few days.
I have a problem with the present. There, I said it. I know the past is history and I know the future’s a mystery, but for some reason or other I can’t seem to stop myself from living in either, especially the future. I don’t know what’s in store for me and my life and that scares me. A lot of possibilities loom ahead and without knowing in the slightest how things will really turn out, I find myself burdened by worries and fears. ‘What if that happened?’ ‘If things go this way, how will I cope?’ ‘How will I deal with that problem?’
No matter what I do, the questions continue to come. They plague me with unending doubts and worries, and even if one issue revolves itself, ten more ‘what if’s’ spring up as replacements. How can I live in the here and now when there are so many things that could go wrong? How can I ever be content if a thousand question marks are constantly lurking just over the horizon?
Even as I ask these questions to myself, I know the answer: God. Trust in Him and everything will work out alright. Trust in him and He will take your worries, He will take your fears. In a way, the knowing part is easy. It’s the living it out part that takes some work. Whenever these negative thoughts come to me, I try to remind myself that I am not the one in charge. It’s not my plan, even though at times I may be under the delusion that I can figure it all out myself. Letting go of control can be tough for a control freak like me, who likes to make lists of all her daily tasks and duties, but it’s something I have to learn to do. When I manage to give up my burdens to the One who has promised to carry them no matter their weight, to the One who sacrificed everything for me, I feel so happy and so joyful that words could never be capable of adequate description.
And it’s then that I can truly start to focus on the present, to be grateful for the moment I’m in and enjoy the little things that make it special. When I’m lost in anxiety, I miss so much, but letting go of control not only lessens my terror of the unknown; it also provides me with the opportunity to experience true joy and the many miracles God gives to us each day.