I often hear people talking about how they try to live “in the moment.” I assume they mean they don’t drag the past around with them or look too far ahead. They just deal with what’s immediately in front of them.
Sounds wise, doesn’t it?
But wait. Let’s think this through.
In 2 Samuel 11, we find the story of David and Bathsheba. If ever there was an example of a man making a bad choice because he didn’t think beyond the moment, that’s it.
You may remember that David’s men had all gone off to fight the Ammonites and, for whatever reason, he stayed behind. This was a very unconventional thing for kings to do, but he did it, and it put him in a position to be alone when he looked out from his balcony and saw Bathsheba bathing on a rooftop across the street.
I don’t think there’s any man alive who wouldn’t have some tempting thoughts in a situation like that. David’s problem was not that those thoughts passed through his mind. His problem was that he didn’t put those thoughts into a larger context.
For example, when it occurred to him that he could send one of his servants over to get her and bring her to his room, he didn’t stop to think about her wishes…he didn’t stop to think about her husband…he didn’t stop to think about the possibility of a pregnancy…and he didn’t stop to think about his God, who happened to be watching his every move. (2 Samuel 11:27)
If ever a guy was “in the moment,” David was. Nothing mattered to him except what was immediately in front of him and that, more than anything else, is what sealed his doom.
Let me encourage you not to live too much “in the moment.” Yes, it’s good to cherish every moment, but when you face an important choice, it’s critical to put it into a larger context, to think about what could happen, or what has happened in the past. Never forget that one moment is all it takes to ruin your life.
For further reflection read Proverbs 3:21-26.