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.

Bob Tamasy: The Joy Of Feeling – And Being – Very Special

Middle Valley Church Of God To Meet In Auditorium Sunday

Metro Tab Church Has Service In The Sanctuary Sunday


During my early days of being an official grandfather, I went to pick up one of my granddaughters at her preschool. You know the old Art Linkletter TV show, “Kids Say the Darnedest Things”? My ... (click for more)

Middle Valley Church of God will meet as a congregation on Sunday at 10:30 a.m. in the church auditorium. All precautions including social separation, the availability of masks and gloves, ... (click for more)

Metropolitan Tabernacle Church invites those in the Chattanooga and surrounding areas to come and worship with in the MTC Sanctuary Sunday at 10:30 a.m. Senior Pastor Steve Ball will preach ... (click for more)



Church

Bob Tamasy: The Joy Of Feeling – And Being – Very Special

During my early days of being an official grandfather, I went to pick up one of my granddaughters at her preschool. You know the old Art Linkletter TV show, “Kids Say the Darnedest Things”? My granddaughter was like that, saying one cute-ism after another. On this particular day, she said something from her car seat in the back of my car that made me laugh out loud. I told ... (click for more)

Middle Valley Church Of God To Meet In Auditorium Sunday

Middle Valley Church of God will meet as a congregation on Sunday at 10:30 a.m. in the church auditorium. All precautions including social separation, the availability of masks and gloves, and hand sanitizer will be made available, along with other needed precautions. Attendees will have an opportunity to join with others in singing and worship. Pastor Mitch McClure will ... (click for more)

Breaking News

Silverdale Detention Center CoreCivic Employee Tests Positive For COVID-19

On Friday a CoreCivic employee who works at the Silverdale Detention Center tested positive for COVID-19 after a close family member tested positive. The employee was tested Thursday as a precautionary measure. CDC recommended guidelines are being utilized at the Silverdale facility to assure the safety and well-being of all staff and inmates. Jail personnel are also currently ... (click for more)

Hamilton County Jumps From 531 Virus Cases To 640 In 2 Days; Tennessee Has 7 More Coronavirus Deaths, Including 3 From Nashville, 2 From Memphis

Hamilton County has jumped from 531 coronavirus cases to 640 in two days. It remains at 14 deaths. Tennessee has had seven more coronavirus deaths. The new total is 336. There were 356 new cases, bringing the total to 20,145. There were 10 more hospitalizations for a total of 1,583. Nashville has three more coronavirus deaths for a total of 57. Memphis now has 94 ... (click for more)

Opinion

Memorial Day Remembrance 2020

Perhaps the terrible toll that has engulfed the greater world community due to the black wave known as COVID 19 brings about an urgent sense of reflection and recollection on the true meaning of Memorial Day. One of the earliest commentaries was provided by Frederick Douglass at Arlington National Cemetery on Decoration Day 1871. He would extol to the crowd to never forget ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Memorial Day, 2020

There is an old Indian proverb that is perhaps my favorite when word reaches me than a man or a woman in uniform perished in combat. On this day where we honor those who died while defending our country’s freedom, I am always reminded, “Good men must die, but death cannot take their names.” Any one who has ever stood post, knows well of the huge risks, the God-wretched intangibles ... (click for more)