Bob Tamasy: Living For The Moment – Or Living In The Moment?

Monday, November 4, 2019 - by Bob Tamasy
Bob Tamasy
Bob Tamasy

Ready or not, we’re officially immersed into the Christmas season. Retail stores, from Cracker Barrel to Hobby Lobby, have unveiled their holiday finest, 2019 edition: Trees brightly adorned. Snowy tabletop baubles and red-and-green finery in vast array. Familiar carols serenading us as we stroll through festively decorated malls. TV commercials bombarding us with “must haves” for our very special somebodies.

 

With these constant reminders, many of us already are anticipating magical moments. I know the Hallmark Channels are – around Christmastime, with them everything’s “magical.” Young ones envision Christmas morning, awakening to a tree surrounded by brightly wrapped gifts containing wonders soon to be revealed.

Enticing aromas wafting from the kitchen, previewing a scrumptious dinner culminating with pies and other sweet delicacies. Over the next weeks the words, “I can’t wait!” will be uttered countless times.

 

Lots of people live for these moments. Of course, moments aren’t limited to Christmas or other holidays. We can live for the moment that we’ll depart for a long-awaited vacation. Brides – and grooms – live for the moment they arrive at the wedding site, exchange “I do’s,” and begin a journey together as husband and wife. A professional person might live for the moment when he or she earns the coveted title of “partner,” the reward for excellence, hard work and dedication to the firm.

 

The thing about moments, however, is that we await them for so long, then so quickly they’re gone. Here today – gone today. Then we’re left to consider what our next “moment” should be. 

 

Recently I heard someone suggest an alternative: Instead of living for the moment, why not try living in the moment?

 

Many of us tend to be future-oriented, always planning and preparing for something in the weeks or months ahead. There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s fun to embrace upcoming activities and events with expectancy. But there’s a danger of becoming so preoccupied by days yet to come that we neglect to recognize opportunities of the day at hand.

 

In the Bible we read a lot about the future. It speaks about eternity, and life after death. Jesus said much about His return, His “second coming.” But the Scriptures also talk about the here and now, not becoming so future-focused that we become presently impoverished. 

 

For instance, Ephesians 5:16 warns about, “Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” Or as a different translation phrases it, “making the most of your time.” In His most celebrated public message, the so-called “Sermon on the Mount,” Jesus spoke about the dangers of going about our daily lives fearful of what might or might not occur in the future: “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matthew 6:34).

 

One aspect of this could be concentrating so much on what lies over the horizon that we find ourselves stumbling over good things right in front of us. An example was when Jesus spent time in the home of sisters Mary and Martha. Apparently a consummate hostess, Martha was preparing the dinner she would serve. Her sister, however, “sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said.”

 

The passage continues, “Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, ‘Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!’ ‘Martha, Martha,’ the Lord answered, ‘you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed – or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her” (Luke 10:38-41).

 

Jesus wasn’t rebuking Martha for her kindness in cooking a hearty meal, but was simply showing her that while she had been living for the moment, Mary realized the value of living in the moment. After all, how often did Jesus stop by one’s house for a personal visit?

 

Pondering the comparison between living in the moment vs. living for the moment, I think of a man I heard of, boasting about the significant estate he was amassing, intending to leave it all for charitable purposes upon his death. Although such intentions are laudable, I couldn’t help thinking about how much good his financial and material resources could accomplish for people right now, rather than delaying such assistance for years later. 

 

Proverbs 3:27-28 seems to address this when it admonishes, “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act. Do not say to your neighbor, ‘Come back tomorrow and I’ll give it to you’ – when you already have it with you.”

 

Without question, it’s fun living part of the time for special moments – a favorite holiday, birthday or anniversary, or the vacation you’ve always dreamed about. But what about this moment? Right now? It could be holding some of the best memories of all.


* * *

Robert J. Tamasy is a veteran journalist, former newspaper editor and magazine editor. Bob has written, co-authored and edited more than 15 books. These include the newly published, ”Marketplace Ambassadors”; “Business At Its Best: Timeless Wisdom from Proverbs for Today’s Workplace”; “Tufting Legacies,” “The Heart of Mentoring,” and “Pursuing Life With a Shepherd’s Heart.” A weekly business meditation he edits, “Monday Manna,” is translated into more than 20 languages and sent via email around the world by CBMC International. The address for his blog is www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com. His email address is btamasy@comcast.net.

Union Gospel Mission Responds To Homeless Camp Removal

"Think Like A Warrior" Series Continues Sunday At Metro Tab Church

Joseph Adamo Called As New Branch President For Dayton Branch Of The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-Day Saints


The Union Gospel Mission of Chattanooga has learned the homeless camp on Workman Road is being removed and Chattanooga neighbors are being displaced. Executive Director, Rev. Jon Rector is ... (click for more)

Metropolitan Tabernacle Church, 2101 West Shepherd in Chattanooga, invites all those in the Chattanooga and tri-state area to come and worship with them in the MTC Sanctuary this Sunday at 10:30 ... (click for more)

Joseph Adamo has been called to serve as the branch president for the Dayton, Tn. branch of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. A branch president is the leader of a congregation. ... (click for more)



Church

Union Gospel Mission Responds To Homeless Camp Removal

The Union Gospel Mission of Chattanooga has learned the homeless camp on Workman Road is being removed and Chattanooga neighbors are being displaced. Executive Director, Rev. Jon Rector is reaching out to the displaced neighbors offering them shelter, emotional and spiritual care in this time of uncertainty. “We have room for six individuals right away and can offer emotional ... (click for more)

"Think Like A Warrior" Series Continues Sunday At Metro Tab Church

Metropolitan Tabernacle Church, 2101 West Shepherd in Chattanooga, invites all those in the Chattanooga and tri-state area to come and worship with them in the MTC Sanctuary this Sunday at 10:30 a.m. Senior Pastor Dr. Steve Ball will continue with the subject, "Think Like a Warrior." The Praise and Worship will be led by Worship Pastor's Adam and Olivia Aziz and Metro ... (click for more)

Breaking News

East Ridge Police Make 1 Arrest In Murder At Donaldson Road Apartments; Seek Gunman

East Ridge Police have made one arrest and are looking for the gunman in a slaying on Aug. 21 at apartments on Donaldson Road. Montrell Lebron Fears, 23, a Brainerd High graduate, was killed in the incident at 914 Donaldson Road. Lonita Fields, 29, has been charged with accessory after the fact of criminal homicide. East Ridge Police received numerous calls around 8:21 ... (click for more)

"Jealous Ex-Boyfriend" Charged With Attempted Murder In Vicious East Ridge Stabbing

A Rossville man has been charged with attempted criminal homicide and aggravated assault in a Sept. 2 stabbing in East Ridge. Police said the victim had a deep cut running from the right side of his head to his lower jaw. It came within inches of his carotid artery. He also received "defensive" wounds on his arm. Charged was Kevin Pascual, 21, of 601 James St., Rossville. ... (click for more)

Opinion

Increase The Pay Rate For Substitutes

Today Hamilton County Schools had 138 requests for substitutes. The answer to filing those classrooms is simple, increase the daily pay for substitutes. The pay rate is terrible for both certified and noncertified individuals. Knox County wised up and increased the pay. If a substitute works 10 to 14 days a month, he or she would receive an additional $300. If the person worked ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Why Our West Burns

There have been far more people than me who believe the catastrophic wildfires that now flame the width of our western states from Canada to Mexico are because “God has darn-near had enough!” Just yesterday in California a law was passed that will allow transgender prisoners to decide if they want to do their time in men’s or women’s state prison! But the better view is that states ... (click for more)