"Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself..." Matt. 6:34
Over the last few months, I've found myself whispering this phrase to myself. I'll stop my racing mind, breathe, and quietly remind myself, "be here now." You see, I have a nasty habit of getting ahead of myself, of examining all the steps and puzzle pieces that must be timed and turned just so in that vast expanse called the future.
Yes, planning and preparation can be good. It can help assure that you know from where you can procure next month's rent and the next day's food. It can help verify that, yes, Katelyn, you will graduate.
But there are so many unknown variables that can't be mapped out, so many pieces that I cannot put into the puzzle. And while I grasp at trying to figure out all that future, trying to secure myself in the time still ahead of me, I can oh so easily miss out on the absolute beauty of the present.
Almost a year ago, I started scouring the web to find any type of job or internship that could fill my summer, that would give me a leg up when it came time to get out into the "real world" and get that dream job (speaking of unknown variables...). And as time passed the whole process ended up bringing about a lot of panic and unnecessary stress. For example: this summer needs to contribute to my future career; but wait, what is my career going to be? What is my direction in life?! Am I going to end up in a joyless career? How am I going to have a fulfilling life?!
A dark and stressful winter spat me out the other side very weary. But after spending many months racking my brain and searching my soul to figure out my summer/life, suddenly the pieces fit--so quickly and so smoothly and so perfectly that it seemed unreal. And I wonder how much my anxiety contributed this. There definitely were some positive results from facing the experience, such as being reminded to listen to God's thoughts on my life's direction. But I think I could have saved myself a lot of stress by spending more time in the present than the future.
Yesterday I was hanging out at the high school where I now work, a puzzle piece that has proven to be just the right shape for me. I joked around with some students, hugged others, and cheered for the girl's volleyball team. As I watched one of my new friends deliver a fantastic serve, I smiled. The present was an incredible place to be.
And today, here and now, is beautiful.