“The past of each of us is now inflexible. We need to concentrate on what has been called “the holy present,” for now is sacred; we never really live in the future. The holy gift of life always takes the form of now. Besides, God asks us now to give up only those things which, if clung to, will destroy us!”
-Neal A. Maxwell
It is only in the present that choices are made, wrongs repented of or forgiven, hugs are given, lives are lived. Life does not happen it the past. Though it may be forgotten, it is gone, and there is little to be done about it, except learn from mistakes or successes, and beg forgiveness if possible.
The future is similarly untouchable. We can plan for it, hope and dream of it, but not live there. No one lives in past or the future and truly lives.
The present is where life is lived. Here we make choices and deal with the consequences, whether they be good or bad. In the present we stay up too late, or rise from our beds early. We eat too much, or diet too intensely. We love those we are with, or ignore them, and forever wish we had spent more time loving and laughing.
Each moment of our lives is sacred; no second is garbage. Time spent playing silly games alone, or viewing horrible movies is a waste of our precious life. It would be better to choose sharing life with others, new friends or old, family, children, and grandchildren.
It is true that some of that time must be spent working. God placed us on earth to work, to learn, and to learn to love. Yes, work is often unpleasant; it often requires more of our life than we would like to give. It is needful, but it is more needful to remember that it is only a part of our life.
Some believe that sports are important and spend excessive hours following, watching, and thinking about a sport, or many. In moderation, and with loved ones, they are fine, but in excess, they do not build our lives. Other pursuits rob us of valued life.
It has been said that no one lies on their death bed wishing they had spent more time at work, or at a ball game. No one clings to a diploma or trophy. Everyone seeks for the hand of someone who loves them. The greatest sorrow is time not spent loving family.
Do all you possibly can to mend fences, travel distances to be with parents or grandchildren and children, give up time for your hobbies, read to a little one. Make the memories your family will have of you be positive and full of love. Teach them that of all the gifts of God, family is the greatest.
I have seen families torn apart by grudges and silliness. Those days are lost, never to be returned. But, the cause of the grudge can be forgiven, and great rents mended. Children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews need to know their families, need to know they are part of something important. And your family is important.
You may live to be 30, or 100, or somewhere in the middle. What are you doing to make that last breath a time of shared love? It cannot happen in a moment. Love takes time to develop. The love of a new child is instantaneous, but families require decades to grow. Will you have someone to love you, someone to hold your time at the moment you leave this earth to meet your God?