My son Jacob and I went for a bike ride tonight. He rode in the trailer hooked to the back of my bike, and we had a very peaceful ride. He sat languidly in the back, checking things out as they went by. I enjoyed the beautiful evening air, and when we returned home, he wanted to go for a short walk. He did not say so... he is speech delayed. But he communicates just fine, even squatting down at the end of our drive way to look for cars before stepping onto the street. He examined rocks. He pointed when he heard engines out on the nearby highway. Jacob was living entirely in the present moment, and I was right there with him.
I thought about what a blessing it is to just be in the moment. That is at the heart of prayer, and of holy relationship. Most worrying is the result of thinking about the future, or regretting the past. The present is God inhabited time.
And our society is so eager to steal this away from our children. We begin asking them as soon as they are old enough to talk "what do you want to be when you grow up?" Implied in this question are two values. 1) You only have value for what you contribute to the world through work and 2) You should be thinking A LOT about the future. By the time a person reaches adult hood, it has become an ingrained habit to live in the future.
Thoughts and dreams about high school give way to plans for college, which flow into dreams about degrees, then careers to launch, places to travel, houses to buy, marriage partners to find, and children to have.
Typically, very little energy goes into helping children hold onto something God gives them from the beginning: the ability to enjoy the God given moment, each and every one of them...every breath, every glimpse of a motorcycle, sunset, rock, airplane, car turning the corner, and every chance to hold hands and walk down the street.
An hour after my bike ride and walk with my son, I was tucking my four year daughter into bed. She said to me "Mommy, I want to be a kid forever. I don't want to grow up." It was as if the Spirit had given her some special insight into my thoughts tonight. I told her "Shannon, you can be a kid forever. I want to be your Mommy forever." And I do... I want to cherish every single minute of the time we have right now, and not let one single minute be sacrificed on the altar of thinking about the future. I'll deal with future reality when we get there. For now, I am just grateful for evening bike rides and night time snuggles. Thanks be to God.