Many of us get caught up in the desire to arrive to a specific time and place in life. We have the mentality that once a specific event happens, once we have something or once we arrive somewhere in life, we will be fulfilled and happy. We wait and toil over that idea: “once that job promotion, that project, that addition to the family, that trip or vacation, then I will be satisfied”. We are not satisfied in the present moment because the present is full of anxieties about how to arrive in the future to that eventual happiness.
God wants us to savor the present moment through His presence. No matter the difficulties, obstacles or anxieties of this life, Jesus said, “I came to give life abundantly”. He is emphasizing the abundant spiritual life on this earth. He gives peace, love, power and fulfillment through his Holy Spirit.
God teaches to not worry about this life. Jesus says, “Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life”? Not even the rest of today is guaranteed, and we get so caught up in the rat race to arrive to a destination in life, while counting on tomorrow, or next week or next year. Instead of living the present in God’s presence, we are blinded by anxieties of this life and the future.
Jesus gives us the privilege to know Him and to follow the One and only God, but the problem comes in when those who know God think they are superior to other people. Those people who think themselves to be high and mighty, are actually the same as the Pharisees that Jesus spoke against. They were the religious people who thought they had “arrived” in life. They were too blinded by pride to see that they were no better than those who were openly sinners.
Let’s face it, there are many Pharisees attending church these days. Those are the same people that are quick to judge and condemn others for not being just like them. Those are the same people who are intolerant and use the name of Jesus in their arguments and judgments when Jesus loves everyone unconditionally… Nope, not even the most religious of people have arrived.
None of us have arrived. Not the believer and not the non-believer. We are all on the same journey. The only difference between a non-Christian and a Christian is that the Christian has accepted the redemption offered through Jesus Christ.
But guess what, us Christians need Jesus just as much as those who do not know Jesus. Even as Christians, we need to be transformed every moment into the image of Christ. “Work out your salvation in fear and trembling” is a great command. Too many Christians feel they have arrived and are therefore using that sense of superiority wrongfully. Are our egos getting bigger instead of letting Jesus convict our hearts and instead of asking Jesus for a contrite and broken spirit?
The good news is the same: Jesus Christ, the Son of God loves us all- without favoritism- unconditionally and perfectly and is the same yesterday today and forever. We do not need to do anything to prove to ourselves or to others how good we are in order to receive Jesus’ love, redemption and eternal life. He simply wants us to believe in Him.
And yes, once we believe, His Spirit will guide us into actions to further His kingdom. Those actions will not be in order to arrive somewhere or to work our way into heaven. Instead, those actions will stem from the heart because God loves us first, and because through Jesus, we have arrived in the present moment through His grace.
So the next time you feel stuck thinking, “I will be happy once I have that something or once I arrive to that place and time in my future” just remember that you have arrived in the present through Jesus’ presence. And the next time you feel like you have arrived spiritually with God, simply remember where you come from and extend the same grace and love that God gives you, to others.