Here and Now: Freedom

​In last week’s post, I wrote about the importance of simplicity in present-moment living.  Such simplicity is the means for another quality of here-and-now living: freedom.

It is the freedom that arises when we are available to life here and now.  Simplicity frees us from being attached to the past and the future, and that leaves us free to experience life in the present moment.  Thich Nhat Hanh writes about freedom in these words, “You make yourself available to life and life becomes available to you.” [1]

We have all had the experience of talking with someone, and in the midst of the conversation we realized we were not paying attention to what the other person was saying.  We were distracted.  And the distraction prevented us to be free in the present moment to concentrate on the person.  In a very real sense, we were “somewhere else.”

Freedom is being here not somewhere else.  Freedom is the fruit of simplification, because we are not distracted by what has happened in the past, or by what might happen in the future.  Jesus spoke of this in two sayings: “don’t put your hand to the plow and look back” (Luke 9:62) and “don’t worry about tomorrow” (Matthew 6:34).  As we do this, all that’s left is living today, living in the present moment.  Living here and now is living with a lightness of being, and that is freedom.

About Steve Harper

Retired seminary professor, who taught for 32 years in the disciplines of Spiritual Formation and Wesley Studies. Author and co-author of 42 books. Also a retired Elder in The Florida Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church.
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