The Long-Run Deception

sunrise

Life doesn’t happen in the long run, it happens now. Right now I feel the kiss of the morning breeze as it washes over my face. Right now I am alone with my thoughts, able to sit and think, free from the other chaos that will soon mark my day. Here in these minutes blood courses through my body and I am alive.

I am drawn to the next better thing. Too often I linger in the place where I am thinner, wiser, less busy, more comfortable, safer and more content. This is the place I imagine exists somewhere in the long-run after my careful planning and diligence yields the fruit of a better life. The trouble is that while I contemplate the glories of some other future reality the life before me passes through my fingers.

Today my daughter is eight. When the solitude of this morning is interrupted it will be with her voice, the one that sounds like it did when she was four only with words that remind me that the sweetness and innocence of childhood is fleeting. She will want to go and play, eat ice cream, tell jokes and watch funny cat videos on YouTube. She will climb into my lap, bury her head into my chest and have a conversation about nothing. If I’m not careful, I’ll miss all of this life unfolding right in front of me. The beauty, mystery and joy offered in the present will become a mere benchmark of progress on the way to the preferred future.

What a subtle yet evil deception!

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD
forever. – Psalm 23:6

Right now I choose to be here. I choose to pay attention to the unbelievable beauty of creation, to listen, to rest, and to receive the gift of life offered to me this day. Today I choose to live in the present and in the long run I’m trusting that goodness will follow me.

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