Carl loves his walks. Next to being fed, taking a walk around the block is what he lives for. He and his sister Bee constantly compete for who will lead their pack around the three mile path marked out by their humans.
With his ears perked up and his body stiff and alert, Carl walks like he is on a mission. As he struts forward, he is always attentive to his surroundings. You could say that Carl lives in the present.
We all could learn from Carl. So often, I find myself drifting in my thoughts to either my past or my future. This is particularly true right before a vacation.
My husband and I will be going on a cruise in the near future. Just the thought of being out in the middle of the ocean with 80 degree temperatures can sweep my thoughts away. Carnival Cruise lines has an app that you can open and it states to the minute how long it will be before we will set sail. At this time it will be 8 days, 1 hour and 59 minutes.
Every day for the last week, we have opened the app just to see the numbers drop and the time draw closer and closer to our cruise. There really isn’t anything bad about doing this. We all have thoughts that captivate us and send us into another time and place. Even though it isn’t bad, there is a better way to spend my moments. In the present.
I have come to realize that if I spend too much time focusing on the future, I miss out on the gift of the present. The Apostle Paul learned a lesson that I believe we all can benefit from. He stated, “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:11-13
So instead of dreaming about the future, I need to be content in the present. God doesn’t promise me the days ahead but as long as I am breathing, I do have the present to enjoy.
Carl is back from his walk and resting in his favorite place. He sure knows how to live his life to the fullest. Even when he is sleeping, he seems pleased with his present circumstances. If my dog can be happy with his life, surely, with the help of Jesus who gives me strength, I can enjoy mine.