Apr 11 2010

Living in the Moment

toadshade trilliumRobert Frost has a poem called A Prayer in Spring.  Here’s the first stanza:

Oh, give us pleasure in the flowers to-day;

And give us not to think so far away

As the uncertain harvest; keep us here

All simply in the springing of the year.

As Rob and I have both noted recently, this is a wonderful time of the year to take pleasure in the flowers.  In the mountains of my area one can now find trillium, bloodroot, trout lilies, hepatica, and scores of other wildflower species.  Of course, many domestic species are also currently blooming. 

The flowers are there but are we seeing and taking pleasure in them?  The fact that Frost feels the need to pray that we will indicates that this does not come automatically.  God gives us the flowers to enjoy but there are things that can keep us from experiencing the enjoyment intended.

If I read his poem correctly, Frost seems to be pointing to worry over the future as something that can keep us from the pleasures of God’s Creation today.  For the farmer the worry might be over an “uncertain harvest.”  For the rest of us it could be any number of things.  There is no shortage of things to cause us anxiety about the future.

phaceliaFrost prays that God would “keep us here, all simply in the springing of the year.”  To me this is a reminder of how important it is to live in the present moment.  If we’re always worrying about what might happen down the road there’s a good chance we will miss the blessings of today.

In the same sermon where Jesus encouraged us to “consider the lilies” and to “look at the birds” he said, “Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.  Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Mt. 6:33-34)  In telling us this, his point was that we can trust God to take care of us each day.  There’s no need to be fretting about the future.  If we remain anxious, we will miss the blessings of today—blessings like the beautiful flowers all around us.


(The trillium and phacelia pictured here are common southern Appalachian wildflowers.)