There’s No Time Machine So Remain Present
This ‘Student Perspective’ article was contributed by CARP’s intern, Yeol-Shim Bell.
Our bodies are not time machines.
How much time every day do you spend thinking about things you could have done or things you need to do? Though our minds can travel through time, our bodies cannot. But, many school days we try to propel our bodies through time to the next task or backwards in time to correct our mistakes.
We often see time as something God has rationed to us rather than something given to us. How much time can we get with friends or family? Why didn’t that professor give me more time to respond? Why did I give myself so little time to cram for that test?
Our Heavenly Parent tries to love us every moment of every day through large and small acts. Many of us rarely notice when our Heavenly Parent pours His love through people’s kindness, the beauty of our campuses, and the enigmas we unravel as we study.
Practicing awareness of our Heavenly Parent’s acts or expressions of love allows Him/Her to comfort and encourage us.
Especially when we need support the most (like during stressful times), we should try to be aware of the love around us.
We all need the love our Heavenly Parent gives.
The latter part of my junior year in high school was very strenuous for me. I studied from morning to night. I often forgot to eat; I slept late and woke early.
Though it was spring, I barely saw the vivid flowers or felt the cool breeze. My back and neck would be in pain when I moved, and I got headaches constantly. I built up a wall in my heart to prevent my loved ones from seeing how weak I felt.
Though I sometimes stopped to smell the roses growing in my family’s garden, my mind was always either racing to my doubts about the future or stuck in insecurities about my past. I put up a facade of having everything under control though it felt like everything was falling apart.
How I chip away at the wall I built.
I began practicing my preferred awareness technique: meditation. Sitting in lotus position or on a chair, I counted my breaths and listened to the sounds surrounding me. I constantly had to bring myself back to the present, but processing with each of my five senses weakened the wall I had built around myself.
Once I started consciously noticing the wonders in God’s creation and in God’s children, I was comforted in knowing that I was endlessly loved by an eternal parent. Fine-tuning my senses also clarified for me how God could love people through me.
We are like instruments that need to be tuned.
We convey the love of God to others like instruments emit music. When we are not used to conveying such profound feelings, sometimes we need to realign ourselves with God.
One way, we can do this is by practicing our awareness of God’s love.
Though I prefer meditation, playing guitar, practicing yoga, or doing any sport that focuses my mind has helped me develop my awareness. If my mind starts to time travel, I calmly return myself to the present time.
We are alive right now.
The journey to awareness has unique stepping stones for everyone. One thing we have in common though, is the free will God has imbued within each of us.
You have an infinity of choices at your fingertips at every moment. The vastness of possibilities can be difficult to comprehend, but God trusts us to choose our own path.
Choosing to feel God’s support in our life journey can help us make smart, balanced, and happy decisions.
One of God’s gifts is music. It’s never too late to learn!
Here’s an app that I’ve been using.