Thursday, 11 November 2010

No Time Like the Present

Be content with what you have;
rejoice in the way things are.
When you realize there is nothing lacking,
the whole world belongs to you.
- Tao Te Ching, No.44

One of the difficulties of the pilgrim life is this: living in the present. This is quite different than living FOR the present, as if divorced from the past and the future.

But to live IN the present to accept all of the trials, joys, doubts and misgivings of NOW. It's a lot easier to cling to a great and noble past, or a better future "out there," but to do so is to deny Christ's lordship and salvation right now, in this moment.

The apostle Paul wrote often about his "thorn in the flesh" which we can speculate on- but not know necessarily what it was. However, we can guess that it was something wounded; physical, emotional or otherwise. It didn't make life easier, certainly. Paul was keen on getting rid of it, and as written in 2 Corinthians 12, he exclaimed, "A thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me, to keep me from being too elated. Three times I appealed to the Lord about this, that it would leave me, but he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.' So, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell on me."

Weakness, trial, powerlessness and wrong are transformed through the power of the Triune God, this moment and every moment. This isn't a Pollyanna denial of the day's trials, nor a condoning of evil in the world. Instead it is a look towards the perpetual redemption of the world in Christ, this second and every second. It's a lot simpler to think Christ will save here on this mountain top or there on that better day-

but God's grace is sufficient for all of us, now. Christ is redeeming and reconciling the world to God, right now.