C.S. Lewis warns, in his The Screwtape Letters, about being so future-focused that we waste the present. This can happen negatively–by being so worried about the future that we spend all of our daily emotional energy wringing our hands. Or, more positively, we may waste today pining for some better future: “Life will be so much easier when _________.”
The solution to our wasteful worry and pathetic pining is found in the Lord’s prayer. Jesus teaches us to pray saying, “Give us this day our daily bread.” This helps us remember that each day is a precious gift–that God gives daily doses of grace, like manna in the desert.
So, whatever you’re facing, may you experience his daily grace–finding gratitude in the little things that help us to be fully present in the now.
Here’s the section in Screwtape. This is a fictional work where Lewis cleverly portrays spiritual pitfalls by letting the reader read letters of correspondence between one demon (Screwtape) who is training his protege on how to tempt the humans. This is what the demons want:
But we want a man hag-ridden by the Future–haunted by visions of an imminent heaven or hell upon earth. . . . We want a whole race perpetually in pursuit of the rainbow’s end, never honest, nor kind, nor happy now, but always using as mere fuel wherewith to heap the altar of the future every real gift which is offered them in the Present.C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters, ch. 15.