If you think about it, there are few things more difficult than living in the moment. Every present moment seems to be little more than the edge between the past and the future. Try living in the moment. It should only take a moment.
In C. S. Lewis’ The Screwtape Letters, the senior devil, Screwtape, passes along to the junior devil, Wormwood, some tricks of the trade on tempting and harassing a new believer. No surprise, keeping his mind off the moment is one of the more helpful techniques. In referring to God as the “Enemy,” Screwtape advises,
“We want him to be in the maximum uncertainty, so that his mind will be filled with contradictory pictures of the future, every one of which arouses hope or fear. There is nothing like suspense and anxiety for barricading a human’s mind against the Enemy. He wants men to be concerned with what they do; our business is to keep them thinking about what will happen to them.
“Your patient will, of course, have picked up the notion that he must submit with patience to the Enemy’s will. What the Enemy means by this is primarily that he should accept with patience the tribulation which is actually been dealt out to him — the present anxiety and suspense. It is about this that he is to say ‘Thy will be done,’ and for the daily task of bearing this that the daily bread will be provided. It is your business to see the patient never thinks of the present fear as his appointed cross, but only of the things he is afraid of.”1
It would be nice to be able to say, I wish I knew what he was talking about. No need to wish.
“Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” – Romans 12:12.
- C. S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters (New York: Macmillan Publishing Co., 1961), 28-29. Italics in original.