Even better: How in the world does one go about unwrapping one’s self from “THE NOW.”
The Now goes a lot deeper than mere immediate gratification. Being caught in the moment does happen and it is a wrapping in its own way. After all, the word ‘no’ and its meaning has to learned. The learning and growing doesn’t end there and this item called the now continues on. While we exist in the present, the now is a separate and yet related entity of progressions.
Young teens are fully engaged in the process of wrapping themselves into the now. It becomes a hyper- enveloping now. Girls experience entanglements and boys experience macho. Then boy meets girl becoming a new all-important now, which further reinforces being wrapped into the now. Going steady, getting engaged, and getting married; these expressions are an oversimplified progression of what happens next. But it is here where the wrapping up of the now can begin to be loosened.
Within God’s plan, where two become one in marriage, further changes can begin. It offers people the chance to begin a separation from the entrapment of the now. Regretfully, some never learn the lessons entirely. They might get it that there is a give and take in relationships. But they may never fully understand the concept of selflessness.
Having children certainly should make couples reflect on selflessness and just how much life changes. Both partners should come to realize that they are not the center of attention or at the center of the universe. Usually, newborns and their needs show parents the amount of self-sacrifice that is necessary and who actually is on top of the pecking order. Sadly, some still don’t get it.
Living in today’s now world provides so many distractions from what is important. There is the ‘in’ crowd, the right friends, making money, sports, and even music can keep folks wrapped up in the now. One would think that death would help people become aware of the aspect that there is more to life than the now. However, too often people try to ignore it.
The one development that helps people to ignore what is truly important is consumerism. In many ways this consumerism has morphed into the current state of affairs called the entitlement mentality. However, this isn’t the first time it’s raised its ugly head. We can go back around two thousand years and find examples of folks looking to get something for nothing and being taken care of by someone else.
Our pastor has had some very interesting comments about those people who were following Jesus around. In (NASB) John 6:1-5 we read, “After these things Jesus went away to the other side of the Sea of Galilee. 2A large crowd was following Him, because they were watching the signs which He was performing on those who were sick. 3But Jesus went up on the mountain, and there He sat with His disciples. 4Now the Passover, the feast of the Jews, was near. 5So Jesus, after raising His eyes and seeing that a large crowd was coming to Him, *said to Philip, ‘Where are we to buy bread so that these people may eat?’” The first interesting detail that should be pointed out is the excitement factor. The people wanted and liked being entertained.
Many of us know the story line from here. Jesus fed the five thousand, went into the mountain again to avoid being railroaded into becoming the King. Jesus’ disciples left by boat and Jesus catches up with them that night by walking on the water. The following morning gets real interesting again. John 6: 24-26 we read, “So when the crowd saw that Jesus was not there, nor His disciples, they themselves got into the small boats and came to Capernaum, looking for Jesus. 25And when they found Him on the other side of the sea, they said to Him, “Rabbi, when did You get here?” 26Jesus answered them and said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate some of the loaves and were filled.” After a short, but insightful, interaction between Jesus and those people, the people get back to what they really hoped for, as shown in verse 34; namely free food.
Much more could be addressed here, but this is enough for one to proclaim: My, my, even from two thousand years ago we can still say, “the more things change, the more they stay the same.” Up until recently, most of us understood that there is no free lunch. But the entitlement crowd demands life’s goodies and life’s best without exerting any effort. They want it all, and they want it now. The people who had been following Jesus around might have been the first. But they certainly aren’t the last who are wrapped up in the now.
What consumerism and the entitlement crowd have done to Christmas is truly disheartening. However, one sure way to break away from being wrapped up in the now is to look to Jesus. He is the perfect, fully wrapped Christmas gift. Jesus was wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger. He is God with us, Emanuel. Now it is true, Jesus was killed. But He rose again on the third day and then He ascended into heaven. Jesus Is Alive, He forgives us and He has opened the gates of Heaven to welcome and accept us into Heaven for all eternity.
The past isn’t the now, but you can be forgiven for the wrongs you’ve done, right now. It’s called repentance. Mankind has no real hold on what the future will bring. It hasn’t become the now, yet. One can make plans, but the only sure plan is accepting Jesus Christ as the Lord of your life and you will have all of eternity to enjoy eternity with Him and your brothers and sisters in Christ.
It’s what this Christmas, and every Christmas is truly all about. So don’t wait, if you haven’t become a believer yet, do it NOW. That’s being wrapped into the NOW that is worth something. It’s worth everything.