What time is it? Now


I have some friends who really live in the now. More than anyone I know.

And it’s bad.

If they don’t need an item today, they give it away, not thinking that in 6 months, when seasons change, they will need it, and will have to get someone to give them a new one then.

They don’t think ahead. And that’s not good.

This is my year of “Now” so I’m paying attention to who does it well. And who doesn’t.

In The Power of Now, Eckhart Tolle says be intensely conscious of the present moment.

  • Die to the past.
  • Give up waiting for the future.
  • Give fullest attention to the step that you’re on.

I’m trying. And sometimes actually succeeding.

Until I see my friends in trouble because they didn’t think ahead.

Then I wonder if staying in the now all the time is wise.

So I’m trying to find balance. Even Tolle says we can “use past and future to enhance now.”

  • To know when to reminisce from past pleasures and learn from yesterday’s mistakes
  • To know when to schedule for tomorrow and get excited about future plans
  • To know when to indulge totally in this moment only and soak it all in

The wise use of now has to include past and future. Just don’t live there. Visit, but make your home in the now.

Now is always what time it is.

* * *

When your mind starts to wander, do you drift toward the past, toward the future, or do you stay in the now? Please share.



45 thoughts on “What time is it? Now

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      It’s a very good book–I read it last year, but I’m reading one chapter per month this year to dig in more. Balance is something we all long for–grateful that God knows this and helps us!

  1. Linda@Creekside

    Interesting question, Lisa, early this Monday morning! I’d have to say the future. Yep, I try to be in the moment, especially when it comes to being with people I care about. And I’m just about always in the moment when meeting with a client.

    But when you live with half an eye in the clock or calendar, you know you’re not fully invested in what’s right in front of you.

    Thanks for this thought provoking piece …

    Blessings as we launch into a fresh new week!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      That half eye on the clock…I’ve done that too many times to count. I know better. It’s doing better that is hardest. Thankful we wake up each day to a fresh start! Thanks for your blessings, Linda. Same to you.

  2. Bill (cycelguy)

    Chicago didn’t know what time it was. 🙂 Seriously, yesterday I preached on how God wants us to live in the “Now” and the “I AM” and not the “I was.” He wants us to enjoy our present and future and leave our past behind.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Hearing the Chicago song in my head now…. 🙂
      Sounds like your sermon would have been just what I needed to hear, Bill. If you have a link to it anywhere, send it my way please.

  3. Ceil

    Hi Lisa! I think those ‘absolutes’ always need a judicious eye. “Live in the now” is very good advice, except when you have to plan for the future. I wrote once about “bloom where you’re planted”. Sounds great, but what if you’re in a bad place?

    When my mind wanders, I tend to go both ways. Forward, backward…any old way! I find going back the hardest, and the biggest waste of time. It’s time passed now, time to work on the ‘now’ so that it’s a time I’ll never regret!
    Best of blessings on your journey to balance,

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Yes, Ceil, we do have to watch those absolutes that crowd us over to one extreme. I know I’ve wasted a lot of mental and emotional energy thinking about “what if’s” when I’d do much better to stay with what is. So glad God is the God of I AM.

  4. Barbara H.

    That’s a good balance, Lisa: past and future are a part of our present. I know people just like what you describe at the beginning, who don’t think ahead so they not only don’t prepare for it, they make it worse than it should be. The Scripture does have admonitions about the wisdom of preparing for the future and learning from the past. We don’t dwell in either place, but they both shape our now.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Nicely said, Barbara. Our wisdom of past and future both shape our now. It’s easy to err on either side. Some stray more one way than the other (I tend to lean too heavily on the what if’s of the future), but there is a balance to be found for each of us.

  5. bluecottonmemory

    As I learn to walk with more trust in Him in this journey – I find myself wondering the same thing – to live fully in the now – but also do the preparations for the future – Springtime and Harvest. You place this dilemma in healthy perspective – the balance of it all – like a braid in 3 parts:) God is always holistic – and your post shows such a holistic way to do this! Blessings to your week, Lisa – as you live that balance!

  6. Carrie, Reading to Know

    Good point! And I agree – “now” does include both past and present. How can it not? We do not exist just right NOW but we have a past and the way God designed human life leads us to believe there’ll be a future here on earth as well. I admit I’ve never really understood what people mean when they say that they want to live “NOW”. Isn’t that what we’re all doing? I *am* living right now. But my past dictates and influences my present decisions and I do think it’s important to plan for the future as best as we might (without stressing). God was, He is, and He will be so I think there is great wisdom in your conclusion: it’s all three. But we only have this day to live so we should live this day to the glory of God, best that we may.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Yes. Part of my now is knowing that my future is secured. It helps me be content in this (whatever “this” is of the day). Where I mess up though is thinking about all the in-between times that can go bad. 🙂 That gets me out of living in the day. But when I focus more on TODAY, where God is–and it will always be today!–then I can find peace again. Grace for the day. It’s my manna. 🙂 Thanks for your thoughts, Carrie.

  7. Kim Adams Morgan

    Lisa, I read this book some time ago and got a lot out of it. I do think that taking lessons from the past and applying them to the present and future makes sense. Sometimes I think what he is saying is that we need to have faith and take chances; the past wont always repeat itself. What do you think? I also learned most to stop worrying so much about my future and stay with the moment and not miss the beauty that was around me. I think as we grow and change and develop our stories, our future will change. I do think some people take this to the extreme and never plan for tomorrow. That is scary! Blessings to you.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      That’s what I’m learning the most from the book too: stop worrying about the future and pay more attention to today. Most of what we worry about never happens anyway. And even when it does, the worrying doesn’t really prepare us for it like we might have hoped. ha. I’m definitely still a planner though, but there’s a difference between worrying and planning, thankfully. 😉 Thanks for sharing your thoughts here, Kim.

  8. Jody Lee Collins

    Lisa, I’m so reminded of Jesus’ words that ‘today has enough trouble of its own’–not that each day IS full of trouble, but just to remember that Jesus is with us in the right now. Worrying about tomorrows and yesterdays just robs us of today’s joys.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Great verse to leave here, Jody. Thank you. Jesus himself taught us to stay in the day–even as he paved the way for our future so we don’t have to worry about being taken care of later. The best of all worlds.

  9. ~Karrilee~

    Ah yes – finding the balance is so tricky, right? I tend to drift to the future… while mutli-tasking… and God is trying to break me of that habit! I used to think of it as a skill – but lately He has been (re)teaching me of the value of staying present in the present and not allowing distractions, regrets, or even hopes or dreams, steal my full attention from what is right in front of me! Some days are easier than others, that is for sure! But -slowly, I am (re)learning!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Ooh, I’m guilty of that too, Karrilee. I used to think multi-tasking was a great skill (and okay, maybe sometimes it still is), but it is not great when people are involved that I want to listen to. Put.Down.The.Phone.–>> note to self often.

  10. Susan

    A meaningful post, thanks Lisa. It’s always good to have that reminder about a balanced now..
    I know you have a huge reading list, I am reading…
    Your Life Matters.. The power of living now.. By Petrea King
    I think you would truly enjoy this, especially at this time of life

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I understand that too. And in a way, it’s good that we CAN look ahead because farther down the road, it will all be better! But in the meantime, I want to keep looking for the good in the now too, even in those rocky times (ouch). Not easy when we’re in the midst of trials. Praying for your situation with housing to go well….

  11. Laura

    Finding that balance is a trixie thing. We are taught to be wise stewards, but not worry about tomorrow. Yes, balance. I’ve always found that a life of faith is a strange sort of out-of-balance balance. It takes discernment in every way. Thanks for this, Lisa. I need to enjoy the now a little more these days 😉

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      “out-of-balance balance” – I actually get that, Laura. 🙂 Maybe it correlates to God’s upside-down economy; first is last, last is first, servant is greatest, etc. So staying in the now might could be the easiest part of it all to understand? ha.

  12. Sharon

    Oh boy. I struggle so much with now. I’m either wandering around in the past, mostly feeling guilty. Or wandering around in the future, mostly worrying. Now is a really difficult place for me to find and to stay there. But it is where we are called to live. I am reminded that Jesus taught us to pray – Give us THIS day our DAILY bread. Oh, that He might help me live right in this moment.


    (No problems on the giving stuff away. I’m at the other end of the spectrum – pack-rat, thy name is Sharon!)

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Yes, this daily bread. This manna of grace, enough for today. Staying in the now has helped me deal with worrying, thank God. But yeah, I still wander around behind and ahead too.

      Maybe my friends who give away too quickly should connect with the packrats of the world. 🙂

  13. Christine Duncan

    I don’t know if I’ll ever get the whole balance thing right, but here’s what I know. If I heed God’s voice at each juncture of “right now” I can trust He’ll supply after He’s given direction. Now I just have to work on trusting it, lol.
    It’s the dedicating that first step forward that’s so tricky!
    So encouraged by your post today, Lisa! Lord bless you as you keep writing for Him! Your neighbour over at #TellHisStory

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I like how you think, Christine. I agree that it’s that first step that can make all the difference! Will we agree to his will in this day or not? Everything else follows that decision. Thanks for your comment.

  14. Anita Ojeda

    Ohhh! Good question! I like to think I’m balanced–but maybe I tip a little more towards the future. I don’t dwell in the past, except to remember what I’ve learned and try to not repeat it (emphasis on the word ‘try’).

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I dip toward the future too. I read another interesting book, The Time Paradox, a few years back that talked about our time orientations and how we’re usually tilted towards one perspective more than another. I hope to re-read it this year since it’s especially pertinent to my One Word. Thanks for stopping in, Anita.

      A quote from The Time Paradox:
      “Our time is brief, and it will pass no matter what we do.
      So let us have purpose in spending it.
      Let us spend it so that our time matters to each of us,
      and matters to all those whose lives we touch…”

  15. Kelly Chripczuk

    I look forward to hearing more about how your OneWord unfolds this year. The gift for me in “now” is that it seems to be the one place where there is always ENOUGH and the experience of that enough (which I guess must be, in some way, the presence of God) shapes my view of both the past and future. Thanks for linking with #SmallWonder, Lisa.

  16. Jen Ferguson

    I’m preparing a talk based on the theme verse of Isaiah 43:18-19. It starts out “But forget all that…” even though God was just reminding the Israelites how He had delivered them from the Egyptians. Remember, but don’t let it cast a shadow over what I’m about to do. Don’t let the past keep you from watching the now. Go there, but come back here. Watch in the moment and have hope for the future. Balance.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Nice. Wish I could be there for your talk, Jen. 🙂 I know it’ll be awesome. You always have great insights. God did remind the Israelites often to remember, remember, remember. Yet, yes, keep watching him in the now.

  17. Laura Thomas

    This is fascinating. And good to consider. My “word for the year” is “PRESENT”, and I went into 2015 wanting desperately to live in the here and now, not pulled back or drawn forward, but enjoying and learning from today. It’s a challenge, and I’m not particularly good at it, but l’m trying to not constantly look ahead to the next hurdle/ challenge/excitement in life. I really don’t want to miss a thing, and I love that we have a God whose mercies are new every single morning. Each day is precious- each now is unique and God-given. Thanks for reminding me of my “present” word today, Lisa 🙂 Blessings!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Ours words for the year are so, so close, Laura. I often think of these together: “This. Here. Now.” It’s all about being present to God in the moment, and as you say–“enjoying and learning from today.” Thanks for sharing your word here. Another bond between us.

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