Immediacy (August 3)


“Each day provides its own gifts” (Martial).

LIVING WITH A SENSE OF “IMMEDIACY” MEANS THAT WE DEAL RIGHTLY WITH WHAT IS DIRECTLY IN FRONT OF US. If something is “immediate,” that means there is nothing between us and it. The present moment is immediate: there are no intervening moments that we have to live through to get to it. It is “right here, right now.” Consider the wisdom of gaining a measure of immediacy in our lives.

The value of immediacy. Doing right now the thing that is best suited to our immediate situation is the only way to taste the goodness of life in its fullness. As Martial reminds us, “Each day provides its own gifts.” Whatever tomorrow’s gifts may be, there is a span of time between us and those gifts. Today’s gifts have already arrived, however. They are immediate, and their goodness shouldn’t be despised.

The importance of immediacy. If we don’t use a particular moment to its best advantage, then we lose that moment, and it can never be gotten back. The present is a precious commodity; it’s all we have. And so to default, procrastinate, or otherwise throw away the immediate point in time is to throw away the only thing that truly belongs to us in life. “Remember,” wrote Marcus Aurelius, “that the sole life which a man can lose is that which he is living at the moment.”

The power of immediacy. Learning to live in the immediate moment is a powerful thing to do. If you’ve never tried it, you’d probably be amazed at the good momentum it can set in motion in your life. But not only that, it also increases our influence on others. The folks who have a positive impact on other people aren’t usually guilty of procrastination; they know that the time to act is almost always now.

There are few resolutions we can make that will make any greater difference for good than resolving to live with a sense of immediacy. Enjoying each moment as it passes, doing each moment’s duty as it confronts us, and gaining the influence that comes from living immediately — these are things that we’d be foolish not to do. It’s worth the effort to deal promptly and thankfully with what is immediate, even when it’s difficult — and especially when it’s difficult.

“The difficult we do immediately. The impossible takes a little longer” (United States Army).

Gary Henry –