Home > Theological Reflections > Living in the moment

Living in the moment


At the end of the summer, I knew that I was spread too thin and had to make some hard decisions about how I would devote my time as I simply could not do it all. Perhaps for the first time in a very long time, I found myself asking “if there were no limits, what would I want to  do?” So often I get caught up in the needs around and in me as I make decisions. However, I decided to explore my desires and longings as a way of discerning the path forward. It was easy – school. If there were no barriers at all, I would do full time school and prepare for (ordained) pioneer ministry. As I then pondered the barriers, I realized two things. First, God had provided a growing number of piano students who would help sustain me financially. And two, if I cut out all the other things I do, I would in fact have the time to devote to my studies.

I truly had a wonderful time on the retreat and was super excited to start classes. My first class – church planting – was invigorating. I started realizing that church planting/pioneering has long been a part of my life. Moreover, as my professor shared her story, I started to see my own in a new light. I bought my new textbooks and eagerly cracked them open to realize yet again that this is the very thing that makes me excited about life. I’m in the right place.

And then, after my first class on the Monday, my eye was throbbing in pain. So much so that I knew I needed to get it checked out. I’m not one for rushing to the doctor’s and I’ve been told I have a high tolerance of pain. I did remember enough from my days working for a veterinarian ophthalmologist that you don’t mess around when it comes to the eye! This trip to the ER led to numerous consults, CT scan and a few more untimely trips to the ER. A day would start out fine and I would end up on IV in the evening.

Before continuing with what I set out to write this evening, I do want to say that I don’t think there is much cause for worry at this point in time. Things are stable-ish at the moment and well enough to be out of hospital and wait to see a neurosurgeon. I admit the last little while has been scary and the medical jargon even more so. However, I am on top of my readings, handed in my first assignment, still have my sense of humour and a strong independent streak. So do not worry – I share this only because it gives a sense of how unpredictable my start to school has been.

At the moment, we are at a standstill. I am waiting to see a neurosurgeon which may take a little while. As symptoms emerge or worsen, I have to go back to ER for a CT scan to see if things have changed. Until I see the neurosurgeon, or until things get worse – there is little beyond pain management that can be done at the moment. Not quite the path I had in mind for this semester.

Some moments are totally fine. Others are not. Sometimes I sleep well. Other nights I’m awake because of the pain. These moments shift and change without my consent or being forewarned.

I’m not going to pretend this time has been easy – I’ve had it out with God more than once.

I’ve been learning to live in the moment. As I look at my to do list, I cannot count on tomorrow – I may have the luxury of spending the entire day doing what I will, or I may have to accept that a chapter, or even half a chapter is all that I can accomplish.

In the moments that I am well, I need to embrace them and use them wisely. I am thankful for a productive hour, morning or day in ways I never valued before. There is little room for procrastination when tomorrow is unpredictable and the determination to move forward in my studies has me striving to be on top of everything.

In the moments that I am unwell, I need to embrace them too. I don’t really have much of a choice. Normally, I try to push through – I can’t right now. Sometimes rest is all I can do.

In the moments that I am waiting for specialists or procedures, I *can* use those times – prayer, once again, has become my source of hope and peace. I have found myself without an ability to do anything except pray (not even sleep!). Amidst the craziness of all that is happening, these moments have been valued and God’s presence has been near.

I have found myself thinking about the passage that today has enough worries and that we should not worry about tomorrow. There’s lots to worry about – can I handle classes? if I can’t teach, can I manage financially? will I get my assignments done? will I be involved in the life and community of my college if I miss out? what will others think of me?

But I am realizing that I can only know the moment I am in.

Tomorrow I might feel awesome and knock off a bunch of chapters and reflections. Or, not.

But I won’t know until tomorrow. I can only live in the moment.

  1. john sullivan
    September 23, 2014 at 3:46 am

    God be with you Elizabeth, you are in my prayers.

  2. Esther
    September 23, 2014 at 10:11 am

    Praying for you… your ability to keep on going is amazing, but don’t forget to take care of yourself. 🙂

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