So take good care of your time. Watch how you spend it, for nothing is more precious. In the twinkling of an eye, heaven can be won or lost. Here’s how we know time is precious. God, the giver of time, never gives us two moments simultaneously; instead, he gives them to us one after another. We never get the future. We only get the present moment…. Time is made for us; we’re not made for time.The Cloud of Unknowing, chapter 4, written by an unknown 14th century monk, translated by Carmen Acevedo Butcher
Many times during the week my mind conjures conversations that have never happened and probably never will. Or, it worries about possible future events where everything goes horribly wrong.
In these imaginings, I am often speaking my mind, venting my anger and frustration to people who should know better. I even scheme creative, passive-aggressive ways of punching back. Because, after all, they deserve it for the ignorant, immature, and stupid people that they are!
And then I notice the knot in my stomach, and the clenched fists and the literal pain in my neck.
The spell is broken.
I awaken to realize I’m actually just on a walk. The birds are chattering excitedly, and the wind is slightly cool and refreshing. I smell freshly mown grass. The sky is extra blue because it has just rained. And the orange horizon is a bit more yellow than it was a while ago as the sun has inched higher.
I feel a little sad because while I was imagining painful moments that will hopefully never happen, I missed experiencing wonderful moments of beauty.
The past is gone and cannot be changed no matter how many times I punish myself. And the future is always unknown. It’s never a given. Not even my next breath.
Also, I must remind myself that the people I’m mad at are created in the image of God—except for the stupid, immature and ignorant parts. They have to own that themselves!
The truth is, all I have is this moment, and this moment is good.
Why spoil it.