I woke up in the very early hours of the morning recently. It was one of those times when you wake up for no good reason, and then your mind just starts wandering. My thoughts bounced around like a ping-pong ball. I thought about one thing, then my thoughts jumped to another idea, and then another.
Before I knew it, half an hour had passed, and those same thoughts were still bouncing around, back and forth and over and over. Then I started to worry about some of the things I was thinking about. I began to get distressed at the long odds of accomplishing some of my goals, and I wondered why I even bother and the seemingly insurmountable obstacles I faced. I wondered how I would ever make some of my dreams come true.
It’s at these moments that some people turn to God, asking for help, or guidance, or support. I know I’ve done that in the past, and I considered doing it again, just for the sake of calming my mind and trying to get back to sleep, for goodness sake. I thought about it for a moment, but then remembered that it is my belief that God is not something that exists outside of me, but rather that God is always within me. I don’t need to seek outside of myself what is already in me. I knew that the guidance and support was there within me, and I just needed to “hear” what God had to say through me.
So, I simply started observing my breathing. In and out, in and out. If my mind started to wander, I just returned to my breath. In and out, in and out. It didn’t take long, and I fell back asleep again, and my bouncing and wandering thoughts subsided and my fears and worries melted away.
When I woke up the next morning, I revisited those thoughts that I had in those early hours of the morning. They were just as vivid and real as they were in the middle of the night, but right along with those thoughts was the guidance and support I was seeking. Some would say it was God, finally talking to me when the time was right.
What did God say through me? God said that there is only one person who will decide whether I will carry out my goals and achieve my dreams, and that is me. There is only one way that I will accomplish what I choose, and the timing of it all comes down to how I manage the present.
The reassurance came though the idea that there is always the present — the “now.” Nothing else exists outside of right now, and it is always up to me to determine what to do with my “now.” Nobody but me (not even God) can decide what is to become of me, because that is up to me. That’s the wonderful gift of free will that God had bestowed upon me and everyone else. God is the ever-present, ever-renewing “now,” and we get to determine what we do with the present, and the present shapes the future and everything else.
When it seems like we have nothing else, we always have the present. Whenever it seems like we will never know the answers, they will present themselves when the time is right. When it seems as if we’ll never get there, we can certainly take the first step on that long journey right now. We’ll never see tomorrow or the day after, simply because it never comes, because we are always living in the most powerful moment that exists — the present. Actually, it’s the only moment that really ever exists. There is no future or past — just the present.
So if you do believe in God, believe in the most wonderful and most powerful gift that God gives us — that gift that is the present. Believe in your free will. You have the ability each and every moment to choose to do what you want to do. When it seems like all is lost, and you have nobody who will walk along the lonely road with you, or it seems like nobody can possibly understand your struggles, just go to God. God will provide you with the reassurance that you possess all the answers you’ll need, and that you and only you know what you need to do to get where you want to go.
Believe in you, and believe in the power of the present moment. When you have nothing else, you always have the present, and you can always decide and control what you choose to do with this most wonderful gift. Make the most of it.