A Catholic Convert in Ottawa

Pressing “Play”

Posted on: October 21, 2013

God made the world round so we would never be able to see too far down the road. – Danish author Isak Dinesen, quoted in The Book of Positive Quotations, 2nd Edition

Years ago, we watched the movie Click, where Adam Sandler’s character pushed buttons on a remote to fast-forward through life’s duller moments.

Sometimes in our society, it feels as though we’re holding down the “fast forward” button—and missing out on opportunities to find joy and share God’s love in everyday moments.

Last week, I noticed that stores had priced much of the fall merchandise to clear and that Christmas lights and wrap were beginning to edge out Halloween wares. We haven’t even gotten a pumpkin yet, let alone carved one.

And one of our neighbours was testing his Christmas lights—a task we generally remember to take on when the temperature has fallen below 0˚C.

And my in-laws asked for Christmas gift ideas. I do buy little things and tuck them away all year, but it can be like pulling teeth to get gift ideas from my husband…or to limit my son’s list.

I am a diehard list maker who values common sense and planning. It makes good sense to ensure a store won’t be saddled with seasonal merchandise, to hang holiday lights when there’s no risk of frostbite, or to plan our holiday shopping to avoid overspending on last-minute gifts or shipping. But it strikes me as odd that, while we recognize we can’t live in the past (unless you’re a scrapbooker, an archivist or an archaeologist, for example), we’re obsessed with planning for our future.

And I wonder how many of us…well, pause in our planning to press “play.”

Do we take the time to get down on the floor to play with our children before time flies and they’re busy teenagers? To talk with our parents and ask their advice while they’re still with us? To spend a lot of quality time together before we’re empty nesters so our marriage stays strong? To see the needs in our society now? And, most importantly, to spend time in God’s presence to share our concerns, pray for strength and comfort, discover how he would like us to serve him, and just be with him?

We can plan for our future, keeping in mind Jeremiah 29:11*: “For I know the plans I have for you, says the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

But we need to recognize the present for the gift that it is—a gift God wants us to use:

This is the day which the LORD has made;

let us rejoice and be glad in it.  – Psalm 118:24

(*Scripture quotes taken from the Holy Bible, Revised Standard Version, Second Catholic Edition.)

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2 Responses to "Pressing “Play”"

Often I feel this sentiment during the work week…everyone is always counting down to Friday it seems. Sometimes I have to stop myself from just waiting for Friday to actually enjoy the days and time in between! Great post!

Thanks for your feedback! I sometimes feel like I’m not making the most of the week but living for the weekend. If nothing else, it puts a lot of pressure on us to pack the weekends with fun and activities. And it can be a real letdown when one of us has to do work or chores or we’re too tired from the week to carry out our plans.

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Food for Thought

(Y)ou do not know about tomorrow. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and we shall do this or that.” ~ James 4:14-15

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