Morning Reflection: Nearsighted when it comes to looking into the future

There’s a model (originally economics) called hyperbolic discounting, which speaks to the human tendency of choosing a reward now over wanting the greater reward that will happen later. In liberal application, this law can allude to our relative inability to see beyond the seeable, comprehensible distance over the things up close: what is happening or might happen in the immediate future or present. I believe this rings true for the scenario we find ourselves in in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

The pain, the discomfort, and the anxieties of the circumstances we find ourselves in are absolutely real. But, we (I) can choose to see beyond for what could happen that could be greater and more meaningful in magnitude over the mess in the immediate– see the good being written even now.

The motifs and the arc defining this story remain to be set in stone. We don’t know what lies ahead for us. We don’t know what the larger picture will be. I’m not referring to the next 2 or 3 years. I’m talking about the next 10, 20, and 30 years.

We must press on in hope, thinking and choosing to look to more hopeful outcomes– to where the real story might be. And in the meantime, be present and do as as much as we can for our family, our friends, and our people.

Some quotes from my journal that I’ve leaving for added contemplation:

“You cannot draw on the future. Impossible to get into debt! You can only waste the passing moment. You cannot waste tomorrow, it is kept from you.
You have to live on this 24 hours of time. Out of it you have to spin health, pleasure, money, content, respect and the evolution of your immortal soul. It’s right use…is a matter of the highest urgency.”
– Arnold Bennett
“We become, neurologically, what we think.”
– Nicholas Carr

Renouncing Morning Anxiety: Acts of Giving Thanks

“I receive your mercy”

I woke up with a heart of anxiety today, and that quickly led to dread.

Dread for all the things that could happen, dread as I replayed and overthought speculations and events whose residues laid like weights on my heart over and over again in the span of an hour.

That’s how I started my morning, until I decided I don’t want any more of my day to be wasted in worry: for things that haven’t even happened, for the things I did or how I was , but couldn’t have done or been any more better.

In this moment, I decided to lay that all down to God. I said some prayers inside, asking God in my internal dialogue, “help me turn this around.

I then continued to go about my morning to dos before settling down for the day’s start: making a plant based smoothie, boiling water for a cup of green tea, and taking my medication and supplements.

A lyric line from a song, “I’ll Give Thanks” by Housefires popped up in my head: “God’s not worried so why do I worry?” Posed as a question, but sung like a battle cry– an anthem of sorts.

"In the morning you sing over me, I receive your mercy.

Your faithfulness is clear to see, 

constant every day."

You know just what I need.

Also, here’s some savvy words with similar premise from Marcus Aurelius in Meditations, should anyone reading this prefer a secular text:

“that there is but a certain limit of time appointed unto thee, which if thou shalt not make use of to calm and allay the many distempers of thy soul, it will pass away and thou with it, and never after return.”

 

 

P.S. I am increasingly growing to understand that the praise and worship songs we were called to sing to adore you was made to really just preserve us. *chuckle* how little minded we are to think you need our praise, to think we do more things in service for your glory. I cannot help, but still and marvel.
"Every breath I breathe is an invitation to believe 
that you are creating something good." 
- Housefires, I'll Give Thanks