Since surviving cancer, there is a burning bit of truth I live with every day. Sometimes it doesn’t let me sleep, but most of the time, it brings me great joy. No one uttered this to me, and I didn’t arrive at it or work at it. It just revealed itself, the way a broken bone makes us re-feel the immense pressure of air. And this bit of truth is, If not now, when?
It keeps coming dow to this: There is no tomorrow, only a string of todays. Still, like mos of us, I was somehow taught to dream forward, to fill the future with everything that matters: Someday I will be happy, When I am rich, I will be free. When I find the right person, then I will know love. I will be loving and happy and truthful and genuine then.
But almost dying seared the sense of future from me, and though I expect to live a very long time, though I make plans and look forward to the many things I plan, I have no choice but to dream now.
I start out, as I always have, pouring the best of me into an imagined time yet to be, but then I hear, If now now, when? and the best of me floods back to the only place it truly knows – Now.
This all helps me understand a story about Jesus very differently. I’m thinking of the young, rich merchant who approaches Jesus after his Sermon on the Mount. He admires Jesus so, it truly touched, and wants to join him. So he asks with great sincerity what he needs to do, what arrangements need to be made.
Jesus opens his arms and says, ‘Come with me now, Drop everything and come.’
The young merchant stumbles and cites his many ‘yes, buts’: He can’t leave his business so suddenly. He has to leave word. He’ll need to gather fresh clothes. How much money should he bring?
With open arms, Jesus simply says one more time, ‘Come with me now.’
How often do we all rehearse this moment, putting off love, truth, joy and even God, citing our many ‘Yes, buts’ to ourselves, when all we have to do – hard and simple as it is – is to drop everything and Come Now.
- Breathe slowly and meditate on something dear to you that you have been working toward. It might center on being happy, knowing love, finding a partner, or learning how to play music, or how to understand the truth of your experience more deeply.
- Breathe deeply and, for the moment, dream about it now; that is, eliminate the efforts to build it tomorrow.
- For the moment, imaging that whatever portion of this work you are to know or achieve or inhabit can only happen today.
- In hale deeply and take the energy of everything you’ve planned and put off back into your life today.
- Rather than feeling overwhelmed with all this, try to let this energy simply fill you as you move through your day.