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Sitting in The Present Moment

"Now. Here. This"

Thomas Merton


Fifteen years ago, I was in an ice skating accident and had a compound fracture to my left wrist. I was on a family outing at an amusement park turned Winter Wonderland. After I was hit from behind and fell, I somehow made my way off the ice with our two oldest children in tow. The attendant kept chirping in his radio, "We have a deformity." All I could think was...this is serious. Panic was setting in.

I eventually made it to the ER, where they asked me, "On a scale of one to 10, how bad is the pain?" My answer was an 11. As I lay in the hospital bed, the following phrase kept going through my mind:




I had recently learned of the grounding technique by Thomas Merton while attending my Bible study a few weeks earlier. It is meant to bring you into the present moment. The expanded version:

God is Now.

God is Here.

God is This.

I am not sure why at this particular time, lying in the ER, I chose to call upon the practice. It must have been instinctual. I knew I had to have my arm reset. I couldn't just get up and leave. I was stuck and in a great deal of pain. Reflecting on the situation, I realize that being in the present moment brought me a sense of calm and peace when I usually would have been freaking out.

During that same Bible study, I also remember yet another translation:

Now Not Then

Here Not There

This Not That

This month, my theme was Sitting in The Present Moment. I wonder how much of our time is spent looking back on the past full of regret, shame, disappointment, or projecting into the future, planning, anticipating, worrying. All of these habits take us away from the present moment. And isn't it so common to want what we don't have?

What are we missing when we are back THEN, not HERE, and want THAT? We miss what is right in front of us. Maybe it's our spouse or child, a beautiful sunset, or mountain peaks that go on for miles. And yes, perhaps even amid a difficult situation Sitting in The Present Moment can have benefits.

It's hard. I get it. So much easier to say and write about than to do.

But I challenge you to try these phrases when you feel frazzled OR even in a glorious moment you want to savor. Pick one that resonates with you. Write it on a notecard. Tape it to your mirror. Commit it to memory.

• Now. Here.This

• God is Now. God is Here. God is This

• Now Not Then. Here Not There. This Not That.

Drop me a note or leave a comment. I would love to know what phrase you choose and how it works.

Blessings as you practice Sitting in The Present Moment!

Walking the Journey with You!


*Pictured above is my son and I this past December 20th, having a celebratory 15th anniversary skate around the rink!

If you would like to join me in a year of sitting, subscribe below. I will feature one of the following topics in my monthly posts and suggest ways to sit with them: God, Family, Myself, Community, The Present Moment, Writing, Creating, Moderation, Gratitude, Joy, and Love.


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