Some claim it is the number of hours, days, and years between birth and death, but life is just a moment long. Some say it is a summary of the high and low points, accomplishments and failures, and gains and losses person accumulated over a span of time, but that is a description OF a life. Those events happened in a moment. Life IS a moment, nothing more.
The overwhelming majority of the spiritual and emotional problems I see as a counseling minister can be reduced to just two causes: fear and guilt. Guilt is living in the past; fear is living in the future. Every negative emotion we experience is one of these two dressed up as something else. For example, greed is the fear of never having enough for the future. Frustration results from the delay of an expected future event.
I play a computer game called Minesweeper. Math is used to calculate the position of the ninety-nine hidden bombs. If you find them all, you win. Otherwise “Ka-boom!” The other day I was playing the game and had only four bombs left to find. I was pleased at how well I was doing when I made a wrong calculation and “stepped on” a bomb. Immediately I became upset over coming so close but losing in the end. Then I realized that I had been living just a few moments into the future, thinking about victory instead of enjoying the challenge of the game at the moment. We can be very close to the moment but still not live in the moment. The present moment is the only time we really have. After this one, we only have the next, and so on. Life is a moment long.
As I walk around my house, I see unfinished projects, which seem to shout, “Guilty! Finish me.” If I stop and make excuses, I have stepped into the past. If I stop and do it now, I am living in the present moment, the only moment I can utilize to accomplish anything.
Since time travel is yet to be invented, yesterday’s events will have to stay where all the yesterdays go, and tomorrow events will be out of reach until tomorrow, but then it will be today, and ah, well, ….see how it goes?
No matter how bad tomorrow may look, or how much better the past seemed, this moment is all there is. At this moment, I am safe and warm. I have food, and there are people nearby who love me. What I am writing may help others. It is helping me, and this is a moment well spent.
Life really is a moment long.
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