|Image Credit: Flickr, CC License|
When you think about what an 'important commission' might be what comes to mind? A significant role, project or task given to you by someone in authority as a privilege or for generous payment? Something which takes priority over other things on your to to list?
What stood out for me when I saw Stephen Cherry's poem 'Important Commission' and heard it read by Bex Lewis this morning were these words:
"Let me enjoy each moment as it passes
and hold me back when I begin
to try to do, or say, or achieve too much."The 18th century French priest Jean Pierre de Caussade wrote of how the present moment is a 'sacrament'. Relaxing in the holy moment of the present is the way to encounter God. Many spiritual writers refer to 'the grace of the present moment'. Jesus taught that the kingdom of heaven is 'here'. The trouble is I'm often too caught up with what happened yesterday or worried about what might happen tomorrow to full enjoy the present moment.
During my mother's final years and as her dementia advanced, I noticed how often she enjoyed the present moment. She was someone who always used to be busy but as she became less able she so much enjoyed little things of the present, like a meal cooked for her or the birds feeding on the patio. Each new ordinary event came as a fresh gift which she enjoyed as if for the first time. That cock pheasant may have been on the patio only 5 minutes ago, but she would have forgotten. That meant that when he and his numerous hens returned to feed on the bird food put out by Mum's carer, it would once again be a great treat to watch - even more exciting when the squirrels tried to get a look in. I'm recalling that because today is the first anniversary of the day Mum broke her hip and was admitted to hospital where she died a few weeks later. She never saw those birds or her lovely garden again - so how good that she was so much able to enjoy many 'present moments' there.
If you need a 5-minute break in a busy schedule today, then in this beautiful video 'A Good Day' from David Steindl-Rast is a reminder that today and this present moment is the only one you have.