There is a current movement called “mindfulness.” It is the practice of living in the moment, being aware of what’s going on around us, paying attention to the “now” instead of the future. The frenetic pace of modern living has forced us always to be thinking ahead, planning for the future, preparing for what is to come. As a result, we don’t truly “live” in this moment.
Part of living in this moment is enjoying the beauty of it. For example, when did we last enjoy the beauty that God has put all around us …
· the limitless shades of green in the trees and vegetation
· The brilliant colors of blooms and blossoms
· The rainbow spectrum of a sunset
· The earthy sweetness of newly mowed grass
And then, there is the freshness of the air on a brisk morning. And the coolness of the breeze on our skin. And the warmth of the sunlight on our face. But do we sufficiently focus on the present moment and actually enjoy these blessings?
The Psalmist was reminding himself to enjoy the beauty of God’s world when he wrote, “Oh, Lord, my Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth … when I look at the heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and starts which you have put in place, what is mankind that you think about him.” (Psalm 8:1, 3, 4)
But there is another facet to mindfulness. It is being aware NOT JUST OF OUR PHYSICAL SURROUNDINGS but of the people around us. It is thinking about how important people are to God and therefore to us. Jesus said, “Are you not of much more value (to your Heavenly Father) than the birds?” (Matthew 6:26)
Mindfulness is thinking about how to bless people. Jesus said, “Do unto others as you would have them do to you.” When we do good deeds and say encouraging things to others, we are blessing them. When we take the time to listen to their problems, and pray for their needs we are blessing them. James 2 says, “If you say to someone in need, ‘Go in peace, and be warmed and filled,’ without giving them the necessities, what does it profit?” God wants actions and not good intentions.
Eva Rose York states the URGENCY of blessing others in her poem, “I Shall Not Pass This Way Again.” I commend the whole poem to you. Here is an excerpt:
O soul, be happy; soon 'tis trod,
The path made thus for thee by God.
Be happy, thou, and bless His name
By whom such marvelous beauty came.
And let no chance by me be lost
To kindness show at any cost.
I shall not pass this way again;
Then let me now relieve some pain,
Remove some barrier from the road,
Or brighten someone's heavy load;
A helping hand to this one lend,
Then turn some other to befriend...
For I shall not pass this way again.
--Rev. Ken Shick, Interim Pastor