Peace in the present moment doesn’t come easily. It’s part of human nature to fixate on disappointments of the past, and if we’re honest, the self-talk can be brutal: “How could I ever have said that?” “Why did I make that horrible mistake?” “Will everyone remember me for this?” Worries about the future can be overwhelming, too: “Will everything turn out OK with this relationship?” “What if I make the wrong choice?” “What if we don’t have enough?”
Today’s episode focuses on how to gain peace by inviting Christ’s presence into all these moments of anxiety. By totally surrendering and entrusting your past, present, and future to the Lord, you can rest in his love, here in the present moment.
Do you live in the present?
Often times when bad things happen in our lives, we dwell on them too much, sending our minds into a spiral of assumptions and embarrassment. But dwelling on these past mistakes or trials can place a heavy weight on our hearts. God wants our hearts to be free and able to totally love him, and if we are not living in the present – if we’re constantly dwelling on things of the past – it can make it hard to see what God is doing in our lives right now.
What should we do about the past?
It can be really hard to prevent past mistakes or sins, especially ones that have heavily affected, from weighing us down and hurting our present season of life. The only thing we can do is move on and keep our eyes forward. This gives the Lord an opportunity to love us in the present, and gives us the chance to entrust your past to him. Trust that God can bring good out of your past.
Matthew 6:34 – “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Let the day’s own trouble be sufficient for the day.”
Worrying about the Future
On the flipside, we can also find ourselves worrying too much about the future. This has a similar effect as dwelling on the past: it takes our attention away from the present moment, and away from our present relationships. God’s grace is given to us in the moment. Remembering that can calm anxieties we may have for the future, and allow us to see what God is doing right now.
Surrender vs. Anxiety
There’s a big difference between being well-prepared for future events, and being anxious about them. Anxiety, which is driven by fear, flusters us and blurs our focus. It can lead us to assuming the worst and worrying over things that probably won’t happen. The cure to this? Trust in the Lord. Even if our worst fears become a reality, it’s important that we trust that God will still bring good out of it. When you begin to be plagued by anxieties, speak words of trust in the Lord, like “Jesus I trust in you,” or “God is my rock and my refuge.”
“We have to fight them daily, like fleas, those many small worries about the morrow, for they sap our energies. We make mental provisions for the days to come, and everything turns out differently, quite differently. Sufficient unto the day. The things that have to be done must be done, and for the rest we must not allow ourselves to become infested with thousands of petty fears and worries, so many motions of no confidence in God. Everything will turn out alright… Ultimately, we have just one moral duty: to reclaim large areas of peace in ourselves, more and more peace, and to reflect it towards others. And the more peace there is in us, the more peace there will be in our troubled world.”Esther “Etty” Hillesum
- Etty Hillesum: An Interrupted Life the Diaries, 1941-1943 and Letters from Westerbork
- Visit Dr. Edward Sri’s website at https://edwardsri.com/
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- Find more of Dr. Sri’s episodes at ascensionpress.com/allthingscatholic
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