Yesterday, I made the capital mistake of senior year: Out of curiosity (and to see how long I can procrastinate on certain assignments) I looked ahead in my planner and counted how many weeks of school I have left before graduation. Umm…yeah, bad idea. All of a sudden, a rush of mixed emotions flooded my mind and heart. Excitement at graduating college, thrill at the end of homework, joyful anticipation of the Next Big Step (who knows where God will take us? We sure don’t!) sorrow at leaving all of the amazing people I have spent four years with, sadness at the dwindling number of commitments with my household. You know the famous, melodramatic exit of the 10th Doctor? Last night, I totally started going into that mode.
BUT, I quickly tried to snap out of it. Realizing just how miniscule my time as a student is fueled me with a greater passion to live this life abundantly. I want to make each moment count; I want to live each day in a more epic way. Thinking about the coming end to my college career also reminded me about the importance of living in the present moment. Yes, I could go around campus super sad, continually thinking, “Oh, this is the fifth to last Rosary with my household sisters,” “Dear me, this is the fourth to last Wednesday morning in the hallway with my friends,” and other such thoughts. Again, think the exit of the 10th Doctor. If I did this, I would be totally living in the future, and not focusing on the current day that God is giving me. I choose to live now. God gives us each moment as a gift, and it is in the present moment that God wants me to follow my vocation as a wife and student. It is by living in the present moment that I can grow in faith, hope, trust, and joy.
Several years ago, when I was in high school, I worked at a pizza restaurant as the “register girl.” I loved my job, and saw it as a ministry that I got paid for. I loved speaking with all of the guests who came in. There were many people who came in regularly. One of these people was a tall man, who was probably in his late forties. Though I—embarrassingly—could never remember his name, he always remembered my name and asked me how I was doing. We would make small talk each time he came in, but one day, he hit me with something deep. As I rang up his order, he asked me: “AnneMarie, how are you always so joyful all the time?” I answered by explaining how I tried to live in the present moment, accepting whatever God sent me as a gift. In this, God brought me joy, because I tried to not live in past regrets or future worries. After I explained these things, the man nodded, thanked me, and moved along to acquire food from the buffet.
I continued with my work, stocking the salad bar, greeting new guests, and bringing up clean dishes. I noticed the man leave, and I figured that I would see him in about a week or so. After several minutes, while I was by the register, the man walked in again. Surprised, I jumped over to the register and greeted him again. With a determined stride, he walked over to the counter and pulled out two nearly identical watches; one was smaller and more slender, the other was larger and more bulky, but both had the same design. The man began to tell me how inspired he was by my words to him about the present moment, and he gestured towards the watches. Instead of numbers, each watch’s face had the words, “Now is the time.” The man explained that he and a friend from his church had designed these watches. He wanted me to have one of them. Amazed and flooded with gratitude, I accepted the smaller watch. Ever since that day, I have worn the watch nearly every day (the watch band broke the other day, so I still need to fix it before I can wear it again). The watch is a reminder of this man’s amazing generosity. Furthermore, it is a continual, visible reminder to live in the present moment.
I heard you, and on the day of salvation I helped you.” Behold, now is a very acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation.”
~2 Corinthians 6:2
God gives us today. He wants us to love in the present moment, to entrust our lives to Him totally. Let us live now.
"We are to leave the past to divine mercy and to trust the future, whatever its trials, to God’s loving providence. Each minute of life has its peculiar duty — regardless of the appearance that minute may take. The Now-moment is the moment of salvation. Each complaint against it is a defeat; each act of resignation to it is a victory." ~Archbishop Fulton Sheen, From the Angel's Blackboard.