“As to the past, let us entrust it to God’s mercy, the future to divine Providence. Our task is to live holy the present moment.” ~St. Gianna Molla
I love this quote by St. Gianna Molla. Before her death at age 39, Gianna led a full and vibrant life as a wife, mother, and pediatric physician. She must have been well acquainted with the myriad of necessary tasks and pressing needs that encompass daily family life, with each sunrise bringing a new list of things that must be accomplished. Yet while selflessly giving her time and energy to nurture others, Gianna shared with us a savory morsel of obtaining holiness, and happiness amidst the business of life. The gift of the present moment.
I’ve been reflecting deeply about our culture and the frenzied pace at which it moves. I wonder if “keeping your foot on the gas” is familiar to those who lived in ages and places before us. I recently found myself contemplating this very idea while touring an old villa tucked away along the sea in southern Florida. Once belonging to a wealthy family in the early 1900s, each room of the villa was adorned with elegant home furnishings and antiques collected from the around the world. The breezy mansion on the sea allowed time for visitors to slowly meander through, taking in the details painted on the china that rested upon intricately carved furniture. Lost in the moment, I wandered through the center of the villa into an airy room facing the water suddenly engulfed in the warm, buzzing glow of two neon signs illuminating each side of the room’s grand doorway. To my surprise, the villa had invited a modern artist to install her work throughout the home as a way to honor the original owners’ passion for world art.
Each neon sign read:
Take the Gifts of this Hour
Put Serious Things Aside
Have you ever encountered a moment in your life in which you were completely present and attuned to the gifts God was bestowing upon His beloved? Perhaps it was during an enjoyable day spent with a loved one, or just a welcoming smile from a stranger. Maybe it was in the sunshine warming your face on the commute to work or an open parking space when you were running late. Even when we are engulfed in darkness and suffering, struggling to see the Lord’s gifts or feel His love, we are restored by faith in His promises. How often has He reminded us in scripture that He has counted every hair on our head? That He has forgiven us our past transgressions? That His mercies are new everyday? And that we be not afraid? The Lord desires, and requires for our sanctity that we live with Him in the present moment. Be with Me, Trust Me, Seek Me, He gently whispers.
Yet, we so often succumb to consciously or unconsciously distancing ourselves from living in God’s present moment as we strive to keep up with the pace of this earthly world, consumed in trying to solve problems out of our control. The world is restless for relief from the pace and fever at which society is moving. But who is our antidote from the problems of the world? Who has promised us that He has overcome the world?
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” ~John 16:33
Living in the present moment is a journey that we take with Him, as we learn to trust His promises. Since I started this journey about a year ago, I have grown to realize just how much I do live in a constant state of either mulling over the past or worrying about the future. But illuminating these habitual thought patterns has drawn me ever closer to Jesus, realizing He is where I turn in every moment. When the moments of worry or stress wake me up in the night, I imagine myself back in that grand doorway of the breezy seaside villa. I hear the Lord’s voice asking me to take His gift of the hour. The comfort of my cozy bed. My family sleeping safely in the rooms surrounding me. I hear his invitation to trustfully surrender my serious things to His hands, and rest.
Kate Huhn Copyright 2018