This reflection from Richard Rohr is deeply packed with how/why we are to grab on to “Now.” I am such a creature of time that “now” is usually gone before I notice it or arrives with projections I have placed on it long ago so that it is barely new. But I do hear the truth of his conclusion that God is either with us in this “now” or not. And that if God is not in our now moments, we are left unfilled and yearning. Here’s Rohr’s piece adapted from Everything Belongs:The Gift of Contemplative Prayer, pp. 60-62.
The contemplative secret is to learn how to live in the now. (Saints knew and taught this long before Eckart Tolle re-taught it in our time, but many Christians still called him “New Age.” Jean-Pierre de Caussade, S.J. already spoke of this as “the Sacrament of the Present Moment” in his classic book of spiritual direction in 1735. My book, Everything Belongs, came out in 1999, the same year as Tolle’s immensely helpful book, The Power of Now.)
The now is not as empty as it might appear to be—or that we fear it may be. Try to realize that everything that we really need is right here, right now. . . . When we’re doing life right, it means nothing more than it is right now, because God is always in this moment in an accepting and non-blaming way. When we are able to experience that, taste it, and enjoy it, we don’t need to hold on to it nor are we afraid to let go of it. The next moment will have its own taste and enjoyment.
Because our moments are not tasted—or full—or real—or in the Presence—we are never fulfilled and there is never enough. We then create artificial fullness and distractions and try to pass time or empty time with that. God is either in this now or God isn’t in it at all. “This moment is as perfect as it can be” used to be a mantra we would repeat at the community of New Jerusalem in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Perhaps this quote from Psalm 46:10 can be your entranceway into the now, if you slow down in this way:
Be still and know that I am God.
Be still and know that I am.
Be still and know.
In a recent note to me, my friend Cynthia Kleinheksel gave her own thoughts to this verse:
Be still and know that I am God
Pause and surrender yourself to the Sovereignty of God
Be still and know that I am
God is “the Great I Am”
Be still and know that I
God is the capital “I”—the one and only True God
Be still and know that
God is in control
Be still and know
God is infinite, creator, powerful, loving, forgiving
Be still and
Cease the “doing” and wait for God
Hush and listen for God’s “still, small voice”
Be healed, whole, and at peace in God