I was recently on a discernment retreat that took place in the beautiful countryside, where we were surrounded by Caspian horses.
One afternoon I found myself sitting on the wooden fence near the back pasture and some of these beautiful Caspians came up nuzzling me with their noses. Ever since I was a little girl, I have always had a deep love and fascination with horses. The next evening when I came back to this same place, much to my disappointment, they were on the other side of the lake, far from where I was. However, I sat there, for who knows how long, simply watching them.
All of a sudden I heard something snap behind me. Standing close enough to bite me was a little brown donkey. Earlier when I had climbed up on the fence, I had noticed the pasture and the few animals behind me, but I had not given them much attention.
I was completely consumed and caught up in the beauty of the large Caspian horses, hoping they would wander back near me like the day before. I was so captivated by the horses that I had not even heard this little guy come up behind me
Then it hit me. How many times have I spent dwelling on the past or hoping for the future? Thinking to myself, “I should have done this, or I wish that would happen again.” Or even saying, “I can’t wait for this to come, or I am so nervous for that.” How many times have I looked or longed for the bigger events in my life and missed the little moments in between? When I become so consumed in the past or future, or the bigger things in life, I become oblivious to things around me in the present moment.
We should know where we have come from and should be able to see a little ahead, but at the same time we are called to embrace and live in the present moment. For in the present is where we are in contact with reality, but more importantly, where we have the opportunity to be in communion with God.
“We do not commune with God in the past or the future, but by welcoming each instant as the place where He gives himself to us. We should learn to live in each moment as sufficient to itself for God is there.” (Jacques Philippe)