Excerpted from The Quest
Right where you are is as green as the grass will ever get. Within you is a potential for happiness that does not diminish nor ripen over time. Happiness doesn't need time to ripen, it only has to be called forth. It is ever available, ever waiting. Your present circumstances may look discouraging and may lead you to play the "if onlys" … "If only I were richer," "If only I weren’t sick: “If only someone loved me," "If only I were happier."
Actually, you will never have more potential for prosperity and wholeness than you have now. There will never be more of an opportunity for peace and love than exists for you right now. You will never be closer to complete happiness than you are right now. When you were conceived in the mind of God, you were given all that you needed. God holds back nothing, but it is your life choices which decide if and how you use those gifts.
THERE IS ONLY NOW
"Now" is rather an enigmatic concept when you ponder it for a while. No time exists other than now. Think of it—the past is over and gone. It will never be in your life again. Whatever happiness or grief it deposited in your life has already been delivered. The future? It's not here yet and when it does arrive, it will no longer be the future. It will be now. So now is really all you have and all you ever will have. The past is compost, the future is a seed not yet planted, the present is the only soil in which you can grow. So lamenting a missed chance for love in the past or nervously anticipating a need for prosperity in the future is wasting precious opportunities for all of your good in the present.
Why not begin doing the best you can right where you are? You can't get on an airplane that left yesterday, and you can't board one today that will leave tomorrow. You can't grow from where you were yesterday, and it's impossible to grow from where you will be tomorrow. The only growing has to take place exactly where you are planted.
You are planted where you are because that soil is best for you at this time in your unfoldment. The soil, the circumstances, in which you now find yourself contains all the elements that will make you grow best. Trust the process of growth. Trust God, Pay attention to the details in your life, doing your very best with each challenge that presents itself.
Of course, growing where you are planted does not mean that you should accept the limitations of your present circumstances. No indeed. The flower planted in the shade still seeks the sun. Any problem that you are now facing does not have to be accepted at face value. It can become a chance to grow, a chance to claim more of the good that God has for you. God's desire for you is absolute good, so do not be satisfied with less.
THE GOOD OLD DAYS
Sometimes we have a tendency to walk backwards through life. Like travelers facing backwards in the observation car of a cross-country train, we don't quite know where we are or exactly where we are going. We only know where we have been, and too often we find ourselves longing for those “good old days.” Through the mist of the past, things often seem to take on an attractive patina. We have trouble seeing the blessings in the now because we view things only through the filter of the past.
Yet the past can include problems like growing up in a dysfunction al family or the early death of parents or a very sad love affair. These often have a devastating effect on us, and we allow them to affect us throughout our entire lives. Anchored in these past events, we cannot stretch into the newness that each day presents to us. Entrenched in the past, we frustrate our present potential.
KINGDOM OF GOD
Paul said "forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead. I press on toward ... the upward call of God" (Phil. 3: 13-14). In other words, seek first the kingdom of God. The kingdom of God is not in the past. Staying in the past is meandering in the dark caverns of the mind. The past is illusion, mere memory. It is only what our mind is able to selectively recall. The longer something stays in the mind, the more it changes and the less it resembles what really happened. The past, like the future, is only our perception.