Now Is the Only Time

A tanglble sense of God-with-me, God-with-us, is proof of our constant at-one-ness with divine Love, of being encompassed and animated solely by Spirit – right now, and now, and now…

By Amy Sparkman

Categories: Gratitude

I remember a day in April nearly 15 years ago as if it was yesterday: it was perfect. I was sitting on the edge of our sandbox, where a construction site of antique metal Tonka trucks – a front loader, dump trucks, a backhoe and a grader – were hard at work. The sandbox scene was right out of my boys' favorite video, "Road Construction Ahead!" I was the designated General Contractor, whose primary job was to respond to each cry of "Watch this, Mommy!" with enthusiasm and awe. The three-year-old scurried in and around mounds of sand to fulfill every order doled out by the five-year-old self-appointed boss, and the baby slept peacefully in my arms. Not 20 feet away, Daddy was at work in his home office. It was sunny and calm after days of rain and wind. The grass was a deep green and the trees were popping their leaves against the backdrop of a clear blue sky. All was well in our little world of Mom and Dad and three sons. Suddenly, a stream of thoughts filled my consciousness: Capture this picture! Love it for its beauty and its perfection. Enjoy it and don't wish for anything else. Live in the moment. Be at one with NOW. The picture will change in a flash, and it will keep changing – forever. But every change is another moment like this one – pristine and perfect – if you understand that THIS is the eternal Now – this is where you "live and move and have (y)our being" (Acts 17:28).

On that day, it was effortless to see and feel God's ever-presence and omnipotence – not a material detail or human emotion was out of place. Peace of mind and soul reigned supreme, and gratitude filled the heart. What's more, the moment lasted – in fact, it outlasted the warmth of the sun and the baby's nap, the 3-year-old's interest and the 5-year-old's patience. It has carried me through many construction sites through the years since that day.

That particular day, I was content to be the "GC" in a sandbox of toys. But I wasn't always delighted when the landscape changed. Consider these different scenarios with my young children:

  • The phone rings and it's a caller who needs my full attention. Instantly, inevitably, and unapologetically, so do my children.
  • I'm rushing to get everyone out the door on time and one child has a meltdown because I innocently suggested he put his shoes on the right feet.
  • I'm in the checkout aisle, relieved to have made it through the store with minimal complaints from the peanut gallery, when my toddler points at the person in front of us, and proclaims, "Look, Mommy – he's BLACK!"
  • I've just finished nursing the baby in the middle of the night when his brother arrives at my bedside and says, "Mommy, I don't feel good." He leans towards me and suddenly spews his dinner all over the baby, me, and the bed. Then he smiles ingenuously and announces, "I feel better now!"

Where was my thought during these moments? Was I filled with gratitude for living in the NOW? I'll readily admit, not instantly! But each time it got easier to replace impatience with gentleness, and myopic vision with a growing perception of the underlying, enduring and universal truths of God's tender constant care for each of us.

In the sandbox moment, I experienced God-with-me, God-with-us. What I felt was wholly spiritual – an at-one-ness with divine Love, a tangible feeling of being encompassed and animated solely by Spirit. Dissecting the moment later led me to understand that Now is the only time. Right now, and right now, and right now. "Then" is already over, gone, never to be repeated. "Coming up" isn't here yet and depends entirely on how we respond to Now.

The Bible has wonderful advice for us as we oversee the myriad construction sites in our lives. Consider these verses from several different books, and add your own to the list. You'll be instantly and permanently uplifted – right into the NOW of Life, Truth, and Love.

II Cor. 6:1-7
Job 22:21-22, 26
Zeph. 3:17
I John 4:12 (If), 13, 16
I Cor. 13:4-8 (to :), 13
Col. 3:14-17