There’s a lot of talk about being present these days. I like that because God calls Himself, I am. Not I was or I will be. So if I want to be aware of God, I need to be living in the present as much as I can.

This isn’t natural for me. I’m a planner and like to try to get all tomorrow’s ducks in a row. But Jesus said not to worry about tomorrow and if I think about tomorrow long, I find reasons to worry. Ahem, that nasty little virus that’s been going around? I also tend to run my hand over the fabric of the past, looking for nubs I can pull off. If only that worked.

When imaginings of my future or memories of my past get too painful, I sometimes take a one-way ticket to la-la-land.

I space out or numb. It’s how BlockuDoku fritters away my minutes, taking the edge off my discouragement or restlessness. We can abuse TV or Instagram or alcohol in the same way. All I know is, it’s not fixing anything. It may take the pain from a 7 to a 5, but it doesn’t resolve the beliefs causing my pain. They’re there waiting for me when I resurface.

I also feel empty. I sense that I’ve missed out, because when we numb our pain, we numb our joy. It’s like living dead. This isn’t what Jesus dreamed of for us. He promised us life more abundant. So when I realize I’m numbing, I stop and try to sit with the question, Why do I feel this way? In the present moment with God, I can take the broken beliefs to Him. If it’s something like, I don’t matter, He will show me the that I do matter. If it’s, This will never get any better, He will remind me how nothing in nature is stagnant. Things will shift again. His presence is the only place I’ve experienced my pain getting zeroed out and replaced with warm joy.