The Difficulty of Living in the Present

Recently Martha shared an quote from Blaise Pascal with me. I think it is so apropos for this stream of posts I am posting here. It had such amazing relevance that I wanted to share it with you here today. Unfortunately, many of us fail to live in the present moment and therefore miss our lives. To live in the present is to experience life.

Living in the Present

Living in the Present
By Blaise Pascal Philosopher and mathematician (1623-1662)

We do not rest satisfied with the present. We anticipate the future as too slow in coming, as if in order to hasten its course; or we recall the past, to stop its too rapid flight. So imprudent are we that we wander in the times which are not ours, and do not think of the only one which belongs to us; and so idle are we that we dream of those times which are no more, and thoughtlessly overlook that which alone exists. For the present is generally painful to us. We conceal it from our sight, because it troubles us; and if it be delightful to us, we regret to see it pass away. We try to sustain it by the future, and think of arranging matters which are not in our power, for a time which we have no certainty of reaching.

Let each one examine his thoughts, and he will find them all occupied with the past and the future. We scarcely ever think of the present; and if we think of it, it is only to take light from it to arrange the future. The present is never our end. The past and the present are our means; the future alone is our end. So we never live, but we hope to live; and, as we are always preparing to be happy, it is inevitable we should never be.

* Blaise Pascal was a Christian philosopher, scientist, and mathematician that lived in the 1600’s. He had a sharp mind and wrote some helpful stuff. The previous quote is from Pensees on living in the present. I think you will agree Pascal’s thoughts here are insightful and challenging.

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    • Pauline

      Thank you for sharing this. This is so true and unfortunate, as you mention. We might think it just hurts us but because God is so active and full of power: to transform, preserve, encourage, strengthen, make us fruitful and so much more, it would appear that we are slighting Father’s plans for us, His desires, for our own self-preoccupation.
      This is something the Holy Spirit — just this week, has been speaking to my heart about, so I treasure your post on this today: “Let go” — “do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing;” “Move forward” — “I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me” and “Live bold” — “Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you where you go.”
      May His blessing return to you many times over!

    • Sandy

      I have been pondering, John! Reading and rereading! So many things going through my mind… I had never realized how I can obey, act, seek, love, etc. Only, right now…
      “I will” is God’s alone to promise. Mine is a daily choice! (Rereading Martha’s booklet Decision)
      To give God thanks in every moment is His will (His will is God Himself). Then, can I say that every moment is Him!?!
      Because what I see “here” are His eyes, asking me to stay…

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