“As they were going along the road, a man said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man has nowhere to lay his head.” To another he said, “Follow me.” But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” But he said to him, “Leave the dead to bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” Another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but let me first say farewell to those at my home.” Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”¬ - Luke 9:57-62
We all tend to focus on our regrets from the past and our worries about the future. The key to growth in the spiritual life is focusing on the present moment. It’s so important that Jesus warns, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom.”
Johnnette often reminds us that God inhabits the present moment and is immediately available to us there. Thus, when we reside in the present moment, we are closest to God and His grace. We invite Him into whatever He is calling us to do right now, at this very moment, wherever he has placed us. And we can be confident that were exactly where we are called to be, in His will.
“When I am with Him, nothing frightens me.” -Brother Lawrence of the Resurrection
Like building a muscle, living in the present moment requires discipline. It is a habit that grows with daily practice and requires a continuous recalibration of our thoughts and focus back to Our Lord. It is not an emptying of the mind, as recommended by new age practitioners, but a continuous turning back to Our Lord throughout the day. Whether we are at work or at play, we can place ourselves in God’s presence, with a desire to maintain our soul’s focus on Him.
Just for today, at this very moment, let us be in God’s presence. Then, little by little, day by day, as we grow in this way of life, we will have more peace, joy, and love because we are truly with Him, Jesus, our very best friend and lover of our souls.
To learn more about this topic, check out “Grace of the Present Moment: Joy in Abundance” with Fr. Wade Menezes or “With God Alone: Catholic Contemplative Prayer for Everyday People” by Susan Brinkmann, OCDS.
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