Many of you know this about me, but one of my favorite movies is Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back. In one scene, Luke Skywalker has located Yoda and they discuss Luke’s readiness to begin Jedi training. Yoda comments that one of Luke’s drawbacks is that he so often looked ahead to the future.
“This one, a long time have I watched. All his life as he looked away to the future, to the horizon. Never his mind on where he was… what he was doing.”
As we make our way through summer, I am aware that I, too, look ahead to the future. I enjoy the season of fall, and so in the midst of July, I often think about cooler weather, football, pumpkin patches and so on. My mind is there. And yet, Yoda’s words are convicting. At times, our minds are not on where we are or what we are doing at the moment. We often look ahead, sometimes at the expense of the here and now. Being present in the moment can be challenging for us, can’t it?
In the month of July, I will have officiated three funeral or memorial services. Those ministries remind me of the importance of being present in the moment. In order to serve a family well, I meet with them to grieve, care for them and also talk through details of honoring the deceased. Those meetings require that I put aside everything else I might be working on or thinking about. I must immerse myself in that moment with the family. There is no other way.
There is certainly value to looking ahead, thinking ahead, planning and dreaming. We need that to do ministry and life well. It is equally important to be fiercely present in moments that require it. There are some exciting things coming down the pike for us at Hope this fall, and I am eager for those! But I am reminded that I must also commit to the day, the hour and the work at hand. Jesus says in Matthew 6:34, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself…” I hope these words encourage you to also be present in the moments God sets before you each day. See you soon and bless you!