Friday, August 3, 2012

What About Today?

I am sitting in my office on a Friday morning supervising trustees assigned to city hall as their supervisor is out on sick leave. As Pandora Radio entertains and calms my social senses, I pass through pictures posted on facebook of friends I have know for years, I stare deeply into the faces of acquaintances of long ago. There are many I remember, yet way too many of them has simply slipped my memory. Melancholy peppers my thoughts as I dwell on the loss of the many persons that helped condition me into the man I am today. I sit and allow my eyes to meander the faces and smiles of so many that chose to be a part of my life. I pause and drift into a place I find myself often visiting. Let me see if I can possibly take you there and if you wrestle with the same question(s).

Life is given to us. We are ever present in who we are this very moment. As I scan the pictures and postings of facebook friends, there is a recurring statement that defines each of us. We hear it in many different ways but none the less, we express it… This very moment. Right now if you can. Stop reading, close your eyes and try and dwell on this simple question. What are you excited or happy about right now? As you answer that question ask: Is it a coming event that I planned? Something you “wish” to do, someone you wish to be with, or someplace you are “planning” to go or a place you would rather be? Who, what or where do you wish to run too?  Are we not guilty of wishing our life away for a future event? I know I am. All of my life I have wished my life away for something perceived better than what I have right now.

I recall grammar school. First grade at Barkdall Faulk elementary in Monroe. I wished years from my life just to be a 6th grader! As I observed them ‘down the hall’ or in the playgrounds, they were so big, strong and scary. I so longed to be like them. I would have given five years of my life to be what they were at that time. The next big crisis where I wished my life away was to turn 13, to really be a teenager. I wished for 15 to get my drivers license and then 18 to buy and drink beer because I had come of age. At the time you had to be 21 to vote so here I find another couple of years I would have just given away. I guess I’ll stop at wishing I was 25 for my insurance rates to drop, but all in all I find I would have wished away the entire spring of my life.

I know for me, I was fortunate enough to not be in control of the physics that is omnipotent to only our Creator because then, as now, had I been about too, I wonder if I would have pushed the “advance through time” button just to satisfy my selfish needs?  So because I belong to a greater source, I was forced to breath everyday, sustain life as I was designed to do, learn to love and dislike, expand my knowledge and simply mature to a point at some distant time, unknown to me. I will at some point in the distant future, cease being just as I became a being on January 13, 1951. But until that time, I have a snapshot of those passed years on Kodak paper filed away in some box or albums passed on from generation to generation. There are also the archives of my mind, pressed there from days of living and interacting with others just like me, in a place called memory.  This place is created by Intelligent Design and it is here we oft times visit our past.

And goodness, what our past reveals about us. We do go there often. With old letters, old friends and even when new acquaintances or circumstances cause us to trip unsuspectingly into the tangled vines of our stored memories. We may smile, laugh out loud, grimace, sigh or cry with happiness or sadness.  An ocean of memories is there and it just depends on what stimuli that prods that moment, as to how it will appear to us in perpetual thought(s) of euphoria or depressive moods. So let me try and tie this together.

I am guilty of searching my future for ways to escape the lessons the present time we call today is teaching me. Oft times "that today" is nothing more than a moment of “still accountable time” that you set aside to plan a future event that will come, only to pass. The fingerprint of those actions will always remain as the coming sunset buries the actions of that day in memory. Think now. If a solution to perceived unhappiness is found in the form of a real act or that of even a fantasized dream, what becomes of that day? Our today, our right now, is the most import moment of our life! Why do I find myself wishing away this most important moment of my life for a coming act or event real or unplanned? There are to many times I have neglected the things that are critical to my mental stability to plan something in the future that I anticipate will eliminate me from the unhappiness of what I am experiencing now? The mountains, the beach, the ocean, large cities, small time America are all things we plan and anticipate while so many times neglecting our now and the precious “expendable commodities” know as human companionship. My kids are grown. I watched them grow up and leave me because my dreams included them, where their dreams did not include me. Those grand kids that look at me in awe, just as my kids did at one time, I need to embrace and enjoy as much as I possibly can. These are just some of the things we take for granted.

As we plan away our ‘present’ for a future event, does our now become wasted time? I think not, but I know our "now" could be more productive. I know that any future event will become our present for a given time and then it too, will be archived in the memories of time. So here I am wondering what difference I have made in the lives of the people I interacted with either by choice or consequences or chance. Those I have impacted positively as well as negatively. I wish I could go to many and beg forgiveness for the many times I placed my needs and pleasures before theirs. As I learn to navigate the expanding geography of the last season of my life, I need to focus more on every precious moment.  I should not become obsessed with some distant event yet achieved, but also destined to become lost forever with my passing, until I stand before my God.

Rod Ferguson
August 03, 2012