The new year is underway, and our world prepares for what comes next. We are reading, maybe at home, away from home, busy, concerned, relieved, in whatever state of mind. Now relax, take a minute, and breathe. God is here present, more deeply present than we can imagine. How do we know? We practice and it comes to us. We practice the presence of God.
Living in the moment, that’s what it is, the moment is enough. Why do we pursue this? Because it is in the moment where God feeds us with grace that we cannot begin to know how to ask for ourselves. A moment of essential gift. Pure gift, and the minute we try to measure it or manipulate it, it is gone. The practice starts out with little steps. Big steps are rustling and bustling distractions.
"Living in the moment, that’s what it is, the moment is enough."
Before you get out of bed, just be there for a moment in wonder. Be aware, I am alive, I am here, grateful, nothing else. Starting your car, just sit and be present for a second. A deliberate action. Don’t think the thoughts that you should be thinking. Suspend your mind and just wonder. Don’t try to analyze motives. Mindfulness is like standing on the side of the road. Don’t pick anything up. Let the river flow. Your faithfulness is proven in that you showed up. It’s enough just to be there.
The training is still hard. We have been so brainwashed; we must learn to block the judging. Our minds don’t want to let that go. Let it go and return to the moment. In this practice we begin to change in ways we didn’t know, and the Spirit works where we didn’t know we had a place or a need.
"Let it go and return to the moment."
In the story of the garden, Adam and Eve had it all, they knew the presence of God. Why did they eat of the fruit that promised them knowledge of good and evil? They were trying to take a short cut. To know all, to live forever, to be like God. Human beings aren’t called to just eat the apple and become like God; we’re called to be human beings. There is no short cut in the journey of being human. It takes little steps. Taken in wonder and gratitude, each moment becomes a world unto itself, a world where the Spirit rushes in. We may not feel it, but it is there.
What lies ahead this Saturday afternoon? Shopping? Work in the yard? A football game? Will there be an emergency? Relax, take a minute, breathe. God is here present. Practice the steps as they occur. Don’t try to invent. Be there in wonder. Living in the moment, that’s what it is, the moment is enough.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
+Most Reverend Stephen J. Berg
Bishop of Pueblo