This is a question that will keep you up at night. Here is a word that we use so frequently and yet no one can tell me when it actually starts. I walk around and tell people that they need to look to the future and learn from the past, but what good is that advice if I can't tell them when it begins!
When does the past end?
There's another one! I can look back over my 32 years and clearly see moments of the past. They stare back at me like the stuffed animals on my sister's bed, they aren't alive but they are still there. When does it end? When does the past cease to exist?
I believe that I have the answer and it is actually very simple. If you want to know where the past ends and the future begins...look at the present.
The here. The now. This moment.
There are three homes that one can live their life in. If they choose the past, their life tends to be filled with regrets and dreams of what could have been. If they choose the future, their lives trend towards looking for the next big thing and never being satisfied with what they have. If they are one of the few that chooses the present, then their lives tend to be filled with contentment, a respect for the past, and an excitement for what is to come.
To live in the present is a tricky proposition. It entails being able to take things as they are and not trying to control the life you have been given. There needs to be an ability to take the experiences from the past and mold them together with the dreams of the future. In the present, the word "regret" ceases to exist and the idea of wanting more takes a backseat to the love of what you have.
The problem with the present is that it is fleeting. The present moment is quickly filed away with the past and the future is always one step away. To live in the present is to walk a tightrope without the aid of a net. To effectively walk that line one needs to employ the idea of trust. The person who chooses this route must have the belief that God forgives the past and that He will lead them into the future. This individual has to give himself or herself completely to God and be able to step out into the world knowing that the path laid out for them is the right one.
They must have Faith.
When the cross was raised and Jesus took his last breath all of our pasts were erased. If you are one of those people living with the pain of what happened yesterday...have peace. Those things that happened are forgiven. They are erased. The slate that is your life has been wiped clean. Jesus died for you and by having Faith in this wonderful gift you can unlock the shackles of the past and leave them behind.
If you are one of those that is constantly looking for the next great moment of your life, I invite you to look around. This is that moment. God has given you the very breath that you just took and I urge you to take advantage of that which can be gone tomorrow. Those plans for ten years from now may or may not occur, but this moment is actually happening so do something with it. Let God worry about the future and just enjoy the day He has provided for you. This life we live goes quick...don't waste it on tomorrow.