You Are Limited to the Present Moment but Connected to the Unlimited God

The Holiness of the Here and Now – Part 42

The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.

–John 3:8 (ESV)

God’s hidden activity directs your soul and propels it along the path that he alone knows. Within your soul, this activity changes direction like the blowing of the wind. You know only the direction of the present moment, the direction you must follow by the will of God.

–Jean Pierre de Caussade

To discern the divine activity, you must look for it only in the here and now; it is only found in the present moment. Certainly, God has always been active and always will be, but you only live in the present moment. The discernment you need to live by is present discernment of God. Yet this limitation is so hard for us humans to accept; we are always trying to escape into the past or the future. And not only do we think that we can somehow live in the past or in the future, but we presume to take God with us.

There is a contradiction in the spiritual life. We long for permanence, and we will never find more of it than we can find in God, yet we must find him in the present moment—a moment so impermanent we cannot even put a duration on it. (After all, how long is “now”?)

God’s activity in this world is always moving. It defies prediction. The divine activity of the present moment cannot be projected into the future. The divine activity of the past cannot be recreated by our efforts. We are limited to the present moment; but even as we see that this is all we have, we also see that it is all we need. When we accept this one limitation, another limitation is removed: the one that we ourselves have unwittingly placed upon the power of the present moment to connect us to God.

The Holiness of the Here and Now is a daily devotional that I am currently working on. When I am finished, there will be 365 chapters like the one above. Meanwhile, I am sharing this work-in-progress. Like the Facebook page to see content like this in your feed.