The recent loss of a dear friend has jolted me back to a reflective, even moody mood (no pun intended).
He was one of my mentors. He opened my mind up to possibilities I didn’t know existed.
He also helped me with a long standing problem of mine: I tend to live in the past.
If you’re like me, maybe the conversation we had one day will strike a chord with you.
We were sat around his favourite coffee place in town.
There, no doubt inspired by the oriental atmosphere, our conversation turned deep, spiritual and psychological, you might say.
Then picking up on a pattern in my life, he asked me to imagine an hour glass. It is aptly a symbol of the passage of time. But let’s take it further.
The upper glass bulb represents the future. The lower one, the past. The narrow neck between the two represents the here and now.
He then made the point that once the sand has passed through, it has passed through.
You cannot change the past.
But you have control over the present. You can stop the sand going through by laying the hourglass horizontally.
The future does not exist yet. It’s dependent on what happens in the present.
It follows therefore that the crucial and only thing we have a measure of control over is our present.
Lingering on, reliving the sufferings of the past is pointless. The only thing we can do about it is learn from it.
Same about the future. Obsessing about it is counter effective. Planning is important but not to the point of belittling or missing out on the present.
We had this conversation a few times. It’s an ongoing battle.
It’s a cliché but it makes this saying true.
Yesterday’s the past, tomorrow’s the future, but today is a gift. That’s why it’s called the present.
Here is another perspective on being focused on the past, present or future and the effects on us by psychologist Professor Philip Zimbardo.
There are so many good things we have now.
Just because we may be able to get better is no excuse to overlook or sacrifice what we have now.
As a Christian, I don’t want my life to be all about me. It’s about God first, then others, and finally me.
There has been a wind of self centred philosophy out there. We are all affected. I know I am. But look at what message it contributes to spreading.
It feels like you can now be completely deluded, narcissistic and be handed power. Scary.
I am not here to change the world. Not my place.
I don’t want to alienate anyone but I will say this : I firmly believe that the bible has all the wisdom we really need. All I have been posting is directly or indirectly inspired from or at least similar to what is in the good book.
A few examples:
“Take it one day at a time” is a concept that was alluded to in Matthew 6:34
The power of a positive attitude was there in Proverbs 17:22
The power of association is a concept that was alluded to in Proverbs 13:20
The idea of prioritising was there in Philippians 1:10
The idea of a grateful attitude was encouraged in Colossians 3:15
I could go on…
So really, I owe most of what I know to the bible. A lot of us do too, whether we realise it or not. Our values as a society are often inspired, derived or at least akin to Judeo-Christian values.
So let’s not bite the hand that fed us.