Learning to Be Present in the Here and Now

The time has come. It’s finally here!

There’s only a short time until the end of the semester. I’m excited to go home for more than a week! I’ll be able to hang out with my family, sleep in late, and watch my favorite shows for hours at a time!

But first, I have to survive—and thrive, if possible. Because I have to endure final papers, presentations, and exams. Yay.

Stuck in the Now?

I’m stressed thinking about the now, and the end seems so much better. I don’t want to do those difficult assignments and hours of studying. I’m tired of not being at home, having little free time, and being around other students constantly. I’m sick of living in a small dorm room, forcing myself to be friendly, and attending boring lectures.

But I have to be here. And in the here, I have to be present. Fully aware, fully engaged, and fully involved. There’s simply no escape from the present, friends.

What Is Your “Here?”

So what’s your “present” or your “here?” Is your “present” a difficult situation at home, work, or school? Maybe you’re enduring a personal struggle? Perhaps, like me, all you want is the end. It can be hard to make the most of the here and now.

I definitely don’t have a problem with being hopeful for the future. Rather, I have a problem with being patient in the present. But the present is where we are.

And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises. (Hebrews 6:11-12, NKJV)

No matter how weary we are and no matter how difficult the circumstances we face, we must be steadfast in our faith. We must make the most of the here and now! So how can we become patient in the present and stay steadfast?

3 Suggestions for Being Present

  1. Make the most of your opportunities. I know I need to take advantage of the opportunities that are happening at the end of this semester. I could spend lots of time doing homework (because there’s plenty to do), or I could get involved. For me, that means I should attend the Christmas party on campus and meet up with a friend next week. What opportunities are available in your life that would encourage others?
  2. Make the most of your friendships. I’m not the most social person, so I like to spend a lot of time alone in my room. But being alone all the time isn’t good for anyone—even introverts. God has blessed me with new relationships at college that I won’t get to nourish during Christmas break. Rather than stay in my room, I need to spend time with people by going to meals, striking up conversations with friends, and reaching out to the lonely. Are there any friendships you need to nourish (or create) now?
  3. Make the most of your relationship with God. Maybe you’ve been asking God why you have to endure _____. That blank could include any difficult situation, like your parents getting divorced, a friend neglecting you, stress from work, or a long illness. Maybe you’ve promised God that your relationship with Him will thrive when your situation gets better. But there’s no guarantee that it will get better or easier, which is exactly why we must absolutely seek God now. What’s holding you back from growing in your relationship with God now?

Life is often like finals week—difficult, stressful, and exhausting. We usually want to wish away the irritating people, complicated issues, and painful seasons of life. It isn’t sinful to be excited about the future, like a break, a vacation, or even new circumstances. However, diligence and patience are the keys to experiencing joy as we live in the present.

This post was originally published here.

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