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.

Laborers Of Many Harvests: Transformation Of A Middle School, College Campus, And City

Youth Of The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-Day Saints Join With Others To Assemble Snack Packs For School Children In Need

CUFI Tri-State Event "Why Israel" To Be Held Nov. 24


If you ask Campus Staff Minister Jamal Morris what makes his ministry unique, he’ll laugh and say, “It’d probably take an outsider to tell you . . . It’s just second nature to me.” When he came ... (click for more)

Youth of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the greater Chattanooga area joined with the Snack Pack Ministry, organized by Janice Robertson and Anita Kapperman, to help school ... (click for more)

Christians United for Israel North Georgia Chapter, along with Pastor Joe Brown, invites the community to a “Why Israel” event on Sunday, Nov. 24 at 6 p.m. at Battlefield Parkway Church of the ... (click for more)


Church

Laborers Of Many Harvests: Transformation Of A Middle School, College Campus, And City

If you ask Campus Staff Minister Jamal Morris what makes his ministry unique, he’ll laugh and say, “It’d probably take an outsider to tell you . . . It’s just second nature to me.” When he came on staff with InterVarsity almost 12 years ago, he kept encountering the same problem. Students he met at UTC didn’t want to have anything to do with Christianity because they didn’t see ... (click for more)

Youth Of The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-Day Saints Join With Others To Assemble Snack Packs For School Children In Need

Youth of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the greater Chattanooga area joined with the Snack Pack Ministry, organized by Janice Robertson and Anita Kapperman, to help school children in need. The Snack Pack Ministry provides food items for children in Hamilton County Schools who may be going home on weekends with little food to eat. Snack Packs usually include ... (click for more)

Breaking News

Judge Poole Mulling Decision About Fate Of Death Row Inmate Leroy Hall After Hearing From "Juror A"

A Chattanooga man attempting to dodge the electric chair will have to wait a few days to know his fate after Criminal Court Judge Don Poole heard his petition. Leroy Hall, 53, is set to be executed on Dec. 5 if his petition is denied. Hall, who was convicted of murdering girlfriend Traci Crozier in 1992, alleges a juror in the case was biased against him. Hall has been on death ... (click for more)

Tubman TIF Delayed As Bond Board Does Not Get Quorum

The "East Chattanooga Rising" Tax Increment Financing (TIF) was delayed when the city's Industrial Development Board did not get a quorum on Thursday morning. Chairman Skip Ireland said two of the seven members became ill. Also present were Ray Adkins and Jelena Butler. A public hearing still went forward including a full explanation of the TIF from three speakers. Chairman ... (click for more)

Opinion

Tubman TIF - Not Yet Ready For Prime Time

A wise man once wrote that reading about tax increment financing is about as exciting as watching paint dry. Yes, it is boring, but it is important that the city use this tool wisely to create economic development opportunities and to build community trust. On Thursday, Nov. 14, at 11 a.m., the Industrial Development Board (IDB) will hold a public hearing regarding a proposed ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Whistleblower

For a guy that endured the evolution of personal computers, I’ve never forgotten one of the earliest truths: “GIGO -- Garbage In, Garbage out.” As a newspaper reporter who started with Royal portable typewriters, then went to “telecopiers,” and then “Telerams,” and then Radio Shack’s first really portable computer and on down the line, I still marvel at mankind’s genius. When I ... (click for more)