This won't be a very long post, but I figured I should try to update my blog with something because I'm not going to be very un-busy for a month or so yet. And yeah, it's not really about writing, but I hope that some of the things I share in this large ramble might be an encouragement to those of you reading.
Something I'm learning this summer is that life is a threefold thing.
Past. Present. Future.
And you can't just take one at a time.
If you only focus on the PAST you are going to be miserable. Trust me, been there done that. Focusing only on all the wonderful people, places and things that you miss will bring a bittersweet sadness that - if left to grow - will turn into something hard, cold and lost. It stops you from appreciating the things going on around you for how they are. It's incredibly painful actually to think only about what has happened and go about missing things you can never return to. There's no hope in that. Focusing on the past only has been my struggle for most of my life and is something I am slowly overcoming. It's one thing to appreciate, enjoy and miss certain memories. It's another to live in a frozen world that has happened and can never happen again.
I've found that some people live only in the PRESENT. Their focus is so wrapped up in the here and now that they often get into trouble. Whether that stems from forgetting about past mistakes and experiences that should dissuade them from certain actions, or not realizing that what you do now has future consequences. Both of these options can lead to trouble. While living totally in the present and just loving the moment you are in is not wrong and can often be wonderful and euphoric, it can get sketchy when it begins to blind you to the possibilities of harm or danger. It's all about balance.
Now, living strictly for the FUTURE pleasure or excitement will never get you anywhere either. You can never attain the future, thus, you will never be satisfied. You will always be looking for something, unable to be content with what you have and what you had. Many people make this mistake I think, especially in our day and age now. There's always something better to be had than what is had right now. This can do a lot of damage to a person. Constantly hunting and searching for that one thing that will complete them, but that one thing is always one step ahead, never to be attained. Granted, thinking about the future gives you hope and purpose and something to look forward to, but focusing only on what will come will do nothing for you at all.
This is why I think life is threefold, and why you have to take them all in balance. I think the center of it all, however, should be the present. That is what we are able to use for good and effect, right now, right where we are. Rather than thinking about things that are too late to turn around or about those things we will do at "some point" we should look at what we have now and do our best with it.
Here is a fitting excerpt from one of my favorite CS Lewis books, The Screwtape Letters, where he discusses the Past, Present and Future.
****READ THIS BOOK, OKAY?****
"The humans live in time but our Enemy destines them to eternity. He therefore, I believe, wants them to attend chiefly to two things, to eternity itself, and to that point of time which they call the Present. For the Present is the point at which time touches eternity. Of the present moment, and of it only, humans have an experience analogous to the experience which our Enemy has of reality as a whole; in it alone freedom and actuality are offered them. He would therefore have them continually concerned either with eternity (which means being concerned with Him) or with the Present — either meditating on their eternal union with, or separation from, Himself, or else obeying the present voice of conscience, bearing the present cross, receiving the present grace, giving thanks for the present pleasure.