Last week, one of our Student Association (SA) sponsors, Jill Davis, professor of mathematics, showed me a C.S. Lewis quote from his book “Christian Spirituality” that goes with our theme of “Be Present”: “Yes — it is sometimes hard to obey St. Paul’s ‘Rejoice.’
We must try to take life moment by moment. The actual present is usually pretty tolerable, I think, if only we refrain from adding to its burden that of the past and the future. How right Our Lord is about ‘sufficient to the day.’”
I think this quote encapsulates this moment in life for a lot of us. We all know we are suspended between the past and the future, and we feel pulled toward these. In our community at Harding, too, we look often to the future and the past. When we are here, we dwell on what would make the future better, or we venerate the past. This mindset makes it easy to be stressed and unhappy and critical. It’s easy to complain about the food in the caf, or to look at the handbook and point to the changes that would be for the “greater good.” I am guilty of all of these things, and sometimes I let them take over me.
When we are tempted to look at life this way, I want us to try and look at the moment we’re in. We’re all in a position right now to make change within our communities, and sometimes we don’t even see it. Let’s go look for the people who are lonely and be their friend. Let’s cultivate goodness in ourselves and keep our friends accountable. Let’s find service opportunities to give back to people in the community.
And let’s be real: Positivity isn’t easy. It’s a daily struggle against the poison of negativity. Every single moment of life, we have this choice. I want us to give ourselves the option to choose.
In this way, maybe we’ll let positivity take over criticism in our life, and maybe we’ll be able to invest much more in the present. Instead of being consumed with what we can’t change, we might see what we can. I hope you all have peace this week and that we can all practice presence. Go be present.