I was sitting on a bench in the morning sun watching a team of ducks meander their way across the small pond. I had nowhere to go and nothing to do, except just sit there with my thoughts. This is what I had asked for and now it felt unnerving. As much as my introverted soul loves being alone, I wasn’t used to just sitting without something pulling me away.
It was my forty-fourth birthday, and all I asked for from Matt and the kids was a weekend away – alone. Matt said that sounded like a weekend from hell and my kids were confused about what someone does all by themselves for three days. I planned to continue writing my book, dream, work on personal goals, suntan, swim, and eat whatever my heart desired.
When I first walked into my hotel room, instead of feeling glorious relief, panic pressed down on my chest. What does a person do when she’s all by herself?! I made everyone promise not to call. I promised myself no social media or work. I had 72 hours of nothingness ahead of me and I was lost as to what to do next. I wandered around the resort, sat by the pool for 20 minutes before the rain started. I tried opening my laptop to attempt to write, but the panic had spread to my brain, freezing its function. Exhausted from doing nothing, I decided to take a nap — a 15-hour nap.
I felt guilty as I peeled my eyes open the next morning. I had wasted my first day, accomplishing nothing.
Now here I sat watching the ducks. I wish my book was finished. If only I already had an agent and a book deal. Ugh. Why have I procrastinated all these years making excuses for not writing my book? If I had stuck with my writing, I’d already be a published author. Here I am with nothing to show for my dreams.
Periodically, a duck would dip his head under the water and pop back up again. Wait, what do ducks eat? What could they possibly be bobbing for?
I sat there a few more minutes somewhere between frustration and self-pity.
Then, the truth of the moment struck me. Charity, you have nowhere else to be. No, literally. It doesn’t matter how much I wish I were farther along with my dreams, career, or in life, I’m still right where I’m at in this present moment. Accept that and live with it every single moment of your life.
I sat with that thought and let it sink in. The tension began to dissolve.
This is what Jesus meant to abide in me. A smile spread across my face. I had nowhere else to be, except here, just as it is.
Life is about learning to abide, not strive. Every single day is about living in the present moment.
There is no other moment, except right here right now. It’s never about striving for another place. I think a lot of times, instead of living here and being okay with exactly how it is right now, we continually put ourselves in this future place or wish we could go back and change something in our past. We race down the timeline wishing we were in another moment, longing for things to be different than they are.
Even if your timeline doesn’t match your plans, a delay is okay, because the one who knows all and is in all orders your steps. When things aren’t going according to the plan or we haven’t met our expectations in life, we jump too quickly to, “I’m out of God’s will.”
We lament in our beds, “This isn’t where I’m supposed to be. I’ve messed it all up. I’m off track.” We continually judge this present moment, according to what we think our expectations should be or what we think God thinks we should be in this moment.
It’s important to remember to keep your thoughts and energy in this present moment. And know, all as well. All is perfect at this moment. You’re exactly where you need to be.
Because if at any given point, you have the awareness that you are out of the will of God. Which, the will of God is simply to love and be Love. That is our will. That is the will of God. That is the purpose of why we’re here.
So at any given moment you discover your thoughts aren’t rooted in Love, all you have to do is shift your thoughts back into Love in a split second you’re back in the will of God.
To be in the will of God is to Love and be Love in this present moment. It doesn’t matter if you have accomplished the things you think you need to or if you’re where you think you should be in life.
There’s no striving to get somewhere else. There’s no book that I have to race to write. There’s no running off to accomplish something to be good enough or to please God.
Where you’re right now is where you’re always supposed to be. Abiding at this moment, not striving to get something else, not running and scrambling around. Always bring yourself back into this present moment.