Calm in the Midst of Chaos
By Alan Wright — December 02, 2019
Are you ready for some good news?
Yesterday, with its joys and sorrows, is over. Tomorrow, with its hopes and challenges, is yet to exist. But, today, right here, right now, God’s grace blooms before your very eyes.
Isaiah prophesied a beautiful word of the Lord about living in the moment: “Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?” (Isaiah 43:19, ESV)
In recent years, a surge of secular interest, research and literature has emerged on the subject of “mindfulness.” Studies show that people who are more mindful are, on the whole, more fulfilled and happy. According to a Psychology Today article, mindfulness is a “state of active, open attention on the present.” Simply put, to be “mindful” is to live in the moment.
A lot of evangelical Christians are wary of the mindfulness movement because some of the literature attributes its origins to Zen Buddhist thought and some of the modern mindfulness practices resemble eastern meditation techniques. But mindfulness isn’t a new discovery, and it isn’t rooted in eastern religion. Mindfulness is God’s idea – an ancient truth that finds its roots in the dawn of time. God the Creator breathed slowly over the face of the deep before He uttered His first creative word. Then, God worked His wonders day-by-day, moment-by-moment. He paused at the end of each day to celebrate and on the seventh day He rested.
When God revealed Himself by name, He declared Himself the great “I AM” (“Yahweh”) because His being defines Him – He is the One who IS. The Lord invites all who want to follow Him to “be still and know that I am God.” In His most famous sermon, Jesus implored His listeners not to worry about tomorrow but to consider the lilies of the field today– to notice them, appreciate their beauty.
Jesus’ kingdom is not lost in the past or postponed to some glorious future day. In fact, recognizing the “nowness” of the kingdom was at the heart of Christ’s central exhortation: “From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand’” (Matthew 4:17, ESV).
If we spend our time replaying yesterday’s regrets and worrying about tomorrow’s problems, there is no time to savor the present moment. This Christmas season, I invite you to savor every good gift from God. His grace is right here, right now. And that’s the Gospel!