Come Back to the Present Moment

Weekly Reflection, Friday, February 4

By: Eleanor Wellford, Priest Associate

How many times, especially during the last two years, have we wished for things to be different than what they are? Things like: I wish this pandemic would end and that we wouldn’t have to wear masks in church or have to take Communion in only one kind. Or, I wish I were younger or smarter or prettier or any other adjective that compares me unfavorably. Or, I wish it wasn’t so cold, or so hot, or so…what? The list is endless.

I wonder how much time I have wasted wishing for such things as if wishing could make a difference in the outcome. The worst part of wishing is that it interferes with our ability to appreciate and live in the moment.

What are we really wishing for, anyway? The word “normal” comes to mind and when it does, there’s usually a sigh that accompanies that thought. But, normal is elusive. It’s one thing one day, and something else another day because nothing stays the same. Normal means one thing to one person and quite another to someone else because it’s all relative. So why are we wishing for something that doesn’t really exist?

As I’m writing this, I’m sitting in a hotel room in Asheville, NC, about 10 minutes away from the hospital where my daughter delivered her first baby two days ago. The snow and ice and wind are making traveling next to impossible. And the pandemic has taken away my ability to visit her in the hospital. So, guess what I’m wishing for? And guess what difference it will make?

So, I stop for a moment and come back to the present. And when I do, I notice that the view outside my window is actually beautiful! The clouds are covering the mountains, but I know they’re there. The landscape is pristine. My room is warm and cozy and quiet, and I feel safe. I realize that my daughter and son-in-law and baby are getting all the care that they need at the hospital. So breathe…just breathe and let go of wishing for the moment to be any different than it is.

Things are just as they are supposed to be. They are unfolding as God intended. I only wish that I could remember that!