It always strikes me with mixed emotions when I hear people say, ‘Just live for the moment.’ I agree. We should live ‘IN THE MOMENT’. I know I have trouble with that. Being THERE when I’m there. The stupid cell phone seems to call my name. Ha, as I just wrote those words the little ‘ding’ went off again and I’m going to stop right now and check who it was.
I’m back. It wasn’t terribly important.
But it’s true. You have to live IN THE MOMENT. But living FOR THE MOMENT is different.
It seems to me that a lot of people seem to live from event to event or moment to moment. They have a very short view of life and maybe even no view of eternity. This strikes me as, well, short sighted. (Pun intended.) And not only short sighted but stupid.
As Paul David Tripp writes in New Morning Mercies: A Daily Gospel Devotional, "There is no doubt about it—the Bible is a big-picture book that calls us to big-picture living. It stretches the elasticity of your mind as it calls you to think about things before the world began and thousands of years into eternity.
It challenges you to think deeply about your life and your life after your life. For Christian people, the Bible simply does not permit you to live for the moment. It doesn’t give you room to shrink your thoughts, desires, words, and actions down to whatever spontaneous thought, emotion, or need grips you at any given time. In a moment, your thoughts can seem more important than they actually are."
So many live in the moment thinking the moment will last forever but it’s just a snapshot. Forgetting first it’s snapped and then it’s shot. In a moment, your emotions can seem more reliable than they really are. In a moment, your needs can seem more essential than they truly are. This is true. Remember those I-PODS you really needed then you didn’t need because they came out with this thing called an I-PHONE.
Trip says it this way: "We are meant to live lives that are connected to beginnings and to endings. And we are meant to live this way because all that we do is meant to have connection to the God of beginnings and endings, by whom and for whom we were created."
Stop living for the moment. Remember that you were created for eternity. Now is important but later is longer. Be in the moment but live for later. Live for eternity.
This is hard.
Really hard. Because there are these moment that everything seems to hinge on. Will you get that big job? Will you get the girl? Will the baby be healthy? Will the Lions actually make the playoffs? And then there are moments that you wonder if you’ll even make it through. Your world is teetering. And it seems like nothing else will ever matter.
But later does matter. And as Andy Stanley says, later is longer.
"It’s hard to live with eternity in view. Life does shrink to the moment again and again. There are moments when it seems that the most important thing in life is getting through this traffic, winning this argument, or satisfying this sexual desire. There are moments when our happiness and contentment shrink to getting those new shoes or to the steak that is just ten minutes away."
"It’s in moments like this that later doesn’t seem to matter and GOD IS LOST and eternity shrinks. We lose our direction." We lose our momentum. And we lose our memory. Our memory of what really matters. Later does matter and later is longer.
Jesus had a remarkable way of reminding us of this. He once said, ‘What does it profit you to gain the whole world but lose your soul? (Mark 8:36). WOW. That’s a gut check. He reminds of the sheer magnitude of eternal thinking when He says, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven” (Matthew 6:19–20).
That’s hard. Everything I seem to do is about laying up my treasure for the here and now. I hate this about me. Why do we put so much value in the now stuff? I really don’t want to make now more important than later because later really is longer.
How about you?