Thursday, September 22, 2011

"Consider The Lilies"

As my life moves further down the road, I've lived, I've learned, and even on occasion...I have loved. Interesting how as I get older and I look back behind me...The words of Lenny Kravitz come to mind: "I'm old enough to see behind me, and young enough to feel my soul." I very much feel that as I proceed through my 30's. The older I get, the more I feel like I have less need to control my world, but to let go and trust that God is TRULY at the helm, and is mindful of ME! The old idea of "consider the lilies" comes to mind as I write. The lilies are able to wholly rely on God to feed and nurture them as they stand and accept whatever comes their way...are we much better of different than they? The idea of being present in my life RIGHT NOW, instead of being so worried about the morrow. Live in the present, and fill your heart with gratitude is the recipe for a full life... "Take no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for things of itself..." (Matthew 6:34) I love that! Learn from my past, and live in the now. Love wholly, Live wisely, Be your BEST, and be grateful for it what it may. So maybe this is easier said than done and maybe even sounds like fantasy land,.... but when one pauses and truly feels the present, there is much more meaning in EVERYTHING! My invitation to all reading is to BE PRESENT AND GRATEFUL!! Life will mean more to you if you do! I can speak for myself, that this is the key to a beautiful life! Experiment for at least one day...being mindful of this entry... I would love to hear back from those reading as to how it goes!


  1. I completely agree, I love that as an Early Childhood Teacher I get to live in the present daily :) I love the way children make us adult folk lol realize that God is here with us and how they know that God is God and knows me, watches me and thats all there is, me and Him at the end of the day :) BEing present, taking care of today and tomorrow takes care of tomorrow!

    Keep Rockn :)

  2. Everyone agrees it's important to live in the moment, but the problem is how," says Ellen Langer, a psychologist at Harvard and author of Mindfulness. "When people are not in the moment, they're not there to know that they're not there." Overriding the distraction reflex and awakening to the present takes intentionality and practice.

    Living in the moment involves a profound paradox: You can't pursue it for its benefits. That's because the expectation of reward launches a future-oriented mindset, which subverts the entire process. Instead, you just have to trust that the rewards will come. There are many paths to mindfulness—and at the core of each is a paradox. Ironically, letting go of what you want is the only way to get it.

    Mindfulness increases self-control; since you're not getting thrown by threats to your self-esteem, you're better able to regulate your behavior. That's the other irony: Inhabiting your own mind more fully has a powerful effect on your interactions with others.

  3. What a beautiful thought and scripture verse about how God nurtures his creations (lilies), I think not worrying about tomorrow truly tests our faith in God. Most of the time I want to feel that I am in control of the present and future; but I tend to forget that God, creator of the universe and everything in it, is so much more capable than I am. At times I have given him a concern to handle and later wanted to take it back, because I didn't think he was solving it in my time frame. I tend to forget that he sees from beginning to end and I have very limited vision. I stop and thank him for his patience and understanding. Our pride gets in the way so many times until he shows us that he is totally in control of every aspect of our lives. You are right about living in the present with grateful hearts because truly God will take care of our future. I find I am much happier living today, doing my best and leaving tomorrow to him. Thanks for reminding me that God is always in control and mindful of me.

  4. Michael, I just stumbled upon you in your movie The Eleventh Hour. Very good movie. I then found your site. I couldn't have found something I needed to read that was better than this tonight. Thank you for being real. You can't imagine how refreshing it is to see there are still God fearing men in this world. You give me hope...God bless.

  5. My week started hectic and moved on to a mess. I was being pulled in so many directions it was ridiculous. I wasn't sure how I was going to come out alive. I was sure I was going to be a zombie before the week was out!

    In the back of my mind your comments kept rattling around. I needed to focus on one thing at a time. To really look at the so called problems of my week and view them truly as the blessings and opportunities that they were. I needed to focus. To breathe. To take one step at a time. Whenever I felt like I was starting to drown, the phrase "Consider the Lilies" popped into my thoughts. (With the music of course!)

    I survived.

    This week was not what I planned. Yet, I am grateful for how it turned out. It wasn't a spectacular week. Nothing noteworthy occurred. I simply lived.

    I may forget sometimes that God is holding the reins and that he is one hell of a navigator, but I do know that He knows what He's doing.

  6. Jennifer, thank you for the comment. I hope that the things that I (and others) share herein are helpful and inspirational! Sometimes we hear or read exactly what we need, at the exact moment weneeded them the most. I think those are moments when we should look heavenward and say thank you. We are carried so much through life, weather we know or admit it or not. When we share, it allows others to be lifted. We MUST have the courage to open ourselves a bit and at least share though...all are (hopefully) edified mutually when we do.
    God bless :)

  7. It's been a while since I checked your blog! I'm glad I did! I love reading your words Matt because you inspire me to think. And you know I love to think:).
    "The pains of all of them he carried
    From the day of his birth.
    He clothes the lilies of the field,
    He feeds the lambs in His fold,
    And he will heal those who trust him,
    And make their hearts as gold."

    The song truly does represent how the Lord is at the helm and does heal our hearts when we can't do it ourselves (which is never).For four years after James died, I thought I was the one who was in charge, and life was When I recognized that the Lord was actually the driver and I became a passenger in my life's roller coaster, that was when the ride became fun and exciting rather than scary and intimidating.

    After James died, I was miserable. Truly, a yucky mess. I wanted to either rewind time and keep him alive or fast forward time and die. I was missing my children's lives and I couldn't have been more miserable. My counselor helped me realize why I was miserable....and it was because I wasn't living in the present. I was waiting for my morrows and wishing for my yesterdays. She had me focus on my five senses everyday. I had to write down something I appreciated for the day in all areas....sight,sound,smell,touch,taste. By doing this, it brought me back to what was going on.....NOW. I had failed to recognize all the TINY blessings going on right around my ability to change a poopy diaper....because that signified I had been blessed with a beautiful child of God. I wasn't able to find peace and happiness until I found gratitude. Once gratitude filled my heart, peace and happiness naturally fell into place. At least once a day my heart gets fluttery and it races and on occasion skips beats when I think of all I have been blessed with. My gratitude is ginormous for all the good Lord has blessed my life with, and I can only attribute my ginormous happiness to my gratitude. A happy attitude is a filed with gratitude:). Goodnight Matt. Good to read your thoughts.

  8. This is a complicated yet simple concept.... consider the following... thank you for sharing... looking forward to the next thought...

    We often talk about "living in the present". But what do we really mean by "living in the present"? Does that mean that we do not think about the past or the future? But how can we not think about the past or the future? That would not be possible or desirable. For we do need to recollect the past and to plan for the future at times. So we need to discuss what we mean by "living in the present".
    To live wholesomely we need mindfulness, we need to engage mindfulness in various ways. How? Mindfulness is like our watchdog. Whenver an unwholesome thought arises, mindfulness can alert us. It can tell us: "This is unwholesome. We shouldn't be thinking or responding this way." And realising that, we can check the unwholesome. For example, when anger arises, mindulness can tell us: "Hey, watch it. You are getting angry. You better look at your anger. You better get a hold of yourself and cool down. You better not say or do anything which you will regret later." And so on and so forth. Actually, there is more than mindfulness involved her. First, mindfulness spots the anger. Then with wisdom and understanding, we can reflect and caution ourselves from giving vent to anger.

    Similarly with other mental states such as worry and anxiety. Again mindfulness can notice how worrisome we have become lately, how poorly we have been applying the Dhamma in our daily life. We can then check the unwholesome trend. We can adjust and correct our attitudes. If we try to stay more in the present by being aware of all our daily activities, paying good attention to whatever we do, we can check the wandering worrisome mind. Staying more and more in the present, living from moment to moment, day to day, doing the best we can, solving each problem as it comes along, we will find scant time for moping and worrying. We will be living, that is to say, we will be living well.

    So mindfulness and wisdom go hand-in-hand. If an unwholesome mind arises, mindfulness alerts us and we can check it. If a wholesome mind arises, mindfulness also knows. We can approve of the wholesome mind. We can encourage more of such mind or thoughts to arise.

    Mindfulness also has a quality of memory or recollection. So from time to time too, mindfulness can remind us of the impermanent, suffering and no-self nature of life. Reflecting often on these three characteristics of existence, we can live more wisely, with less pain-bringing kind of attachment.

  9. Once again another inspiring post! I've learned the hard way that the more I try to control my life, the faster it spirals out of control. Just the simple act of letting go, has changed my life.

    Thanks for the reminder that He is in control!



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