In Nouwen’s devotion today, he zeroed in on living for and living in the present moment. He has a great line that I used as the title of this post, “Today is more important than tomorrow.” In our staff meeting this morning we talked about the challenges of living in the present moment and not always looking beyond to tomorrow or next week or next month or next year. Yes, we need to plan ahead and be prepared for the future but not always at the expense of living in the present moment.
One of my favorite “present moments” comes on the days when I am the one to get our youngest to school. After our other kids are off to school, we have about 20 minutes before the youngest heads off. In those times, I could use that time to check email, do some work, put dishes in the dishwasher after breakfast, etc but we have a tradition of playing cards (specifically Toy Story 3 Uno) during that time. Today, I won 2 out of 3 games, but often he is the one who pulls out a win. But its not about who wins, but instead about the time that we are able to spend. Living in that present moment that we have together.
As a pastor, living in the present during Advent is a challenge. I am thinking about the Sundays ahead, about a sermon on Christmas Eve, about who’s lighting the Advent Candles in worship, about the pastoral care needs that are often more pronounced during this season, about end-of-year budgets, and the list goes on. But this was a reminder to me to work towards being present for the Spirit, for my family, for myself, for people at the church, for the power of this season.