Past, Present and Future

My kids are some of the happiest people I know.  Oh, not my doing I am sure.  It’s because they have- like the Bible says- a childlike faith and attitude.  After all, they are children.

What is the core of that attitude?  That key to happiness?  Not innocence, innocence is so easily shattered.

I believe it’s living in the present.  They know they are taken care of in the now.  They haven’t built up past resentments or future hopes.  They just know they are taken care of.

I was reading the Screwtape Letters some months back.  I was struck by how Screwtape was instructing Wormwood to try to keep his human living in either the past or the future.  It was a wonderful way to induce unhappiness and dissatisfaction according to the senior devil.

Why?  Well, the past is gone.  It can’t be changed.  Living in it means you are living in what is gone forever.  You have vivid memories yes, but they cannot be changed or re-lived.

Like the past, the future is impossible to live in, unless it’s the very basic sense.  Planning for the future is helpful, but we often are only guessing at a future.  There is no surety.  I know I get caught up in thinking I know what the future holds…I can see based on the past.  But the truth is, nobody can say for sure what is going to happen.  Putting too much into the future means disappointment if your beliefs in it don’t turn out to be true.

Better to let go of the past, there is nothing for you there once you have learned from it.  It’s a place to visit, not to live.  Likewise the future should only be looked to, not lived in.  Better to always live in the present.  Breathe in what you have around you now, not what you could have…not what you did have…but what you do have.

There.  My philosophical meanderings for the day.


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