Pick Your Community: | Hopkins | Muhlenberg | Daviess | Christian | Fayette | Henderson | Lakes | McCracken | Warren | Webster
Davis Motor Sales banner ad

Keeping the Faith - The Power of Now

ronniemcbrayer300 maroonKENTUCKY (4/21/13) - There is a Zen parable about a man who surprised a sleeping tiger while walking through the jungle. The ferocious animal pursued the man, causing him to throw down his bag and walking stick, as he ran for his life.

With the tiger tightly on his heels, the man came to a steep cliff. He saw a vine dangling over the edge, quickly grabbed it, and began shimmying down the vine just narrowly escaping the teeth of the tiger who now leered hungrily at him from the rim above.

This put the traveler in a real predicament. He was high in the air with no place to go. The vicious tiger was overhead; jagged rocks were below; and he was clinging to a vine that was not nearly long enough to lower him to the ground. Then, as if things could not be direr, a mouse emerged from its den and began to nibble at the vine.

At this precise moment the traveler saw a perfect, plump strawberry right there within arm’s reach, growing out of the face of the cliff. He picked it, ate it, and exclaimed, “Wow!!! That is the best strawberry I’ve ever tasted in my entire life!”

The story ends there (leaving the man hanging in a lurch), but the lesson keeps going: If the man had been preoccupied with the rocks below (his possible future), or the tiger above (his past troubles), or the mouse chewing away at the vine (his vanishing present), he would have missed the strawberry within the present moment. He would have missed the joy of now.

Now: There are few words with more potency but hardly a word more fallow or underutilized, because most of us do not live “in the now.” We don’t even aspire to live in the broader category of “today,” having trading the present for a regretful past or a fearful future, a trade that leaves no life left to live.

Those of us who have fixed our eyes on the rearview mirror feel the days gone by slashing angrily at our heels with the unanswerable questions of regret. Where did my life go off the rails? How could I have made such terrible mistakes? What could I have done differently? Why hasn’t God (or my parents or my spouse or my employer) treated me fairly or at least as well as others?

Such questions only end with inadequate replies, proving the axiom true: “There is no future in the past.” But there is no future in the future either; not a view of the future that is tainted with fear! Yet, countless people live their lives in a hypothetical time machine, always worrying and fretting over a distant yet to come that might never materialize.

These future-fearing people fill the air with their own questions, questions that usually begins with the words, “What if?” What if I lose my job? What if I am diagnosed with cancer? What if I run out of money? What if the economy collapses? Again, such questions can’t be answered. They can only rob the worriers of the time they have today.

And of course there are those who are preoccupied with the future differently. They aren’t worried. They are enthused. They have schemes and plans for tomorrow, but tomorrow never comes. They say things like: “I’ll do it one day (whatever ‘it’ is). Life will be better next week…next month…next year…next decade. Eventually I’ll get around to it. In the end I will achieve my goals.” But in the end, the end comes far too soon, and all the best-laid plans never materialize.

If we are engrossed with the snarling monsters of our past, obsessed with the fearful uncertainties of tomorrow, or spend our precious few days prepping for an ethereal future, this much is certain: We give away today; we miss the now.

Right now might not be your greatest moment, but now is all you have. Give now all you have, and you might be surprised at the joy you will discover.

Ronnie McBrayer is a syndicated columnist, speaker, and author of multiple books. You can read more and receive regular e-columns in your inbox at www.ronniemcbrayer.me.


Disclaimer: The content supplied by columnists and letters to the Editor on this site does not in any way, shape or form, implied or otherwise, necessarily express or suggest endorsement or support of any of such content, statement, or opinions therein. SurfKY News does not necessarily adhere to or endorse content provided by outside non-staff sources.

© Copyright 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story by using one of the social media links below.

Posted on 2/2/14
Genovese - http://www.mchky.org/staff/bio.php?doc_id=35646&sub= Lewis - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=bracken_lewis Holt - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=drholt Napier - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=dr.napier_page Newman - http://www.mchky.org/staff/bio.php?doc_id=50353
Genovese - http://www.mchky.org/staff/bio.php?doc_id=35646&sub= Lewis - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=bracken_lewis Holt - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=drholt Napier - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=dr.napier_page Newman - http://www.mchky.org/staff/bio.php?doc_id=50353
2/6/2014 - posted
Genovese - http://www.mchky.org/staff/bio.php?doc_id=35646&sub= Lewis - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=bracken_lewis Holt - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=drholt Napier - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=dr.napier_page Newman - http://www.mchky.org/staff/bio.php?doc_id=50353
Genovese - http://www.mchky.org/staff/bio.php?doc_id=35646&sub= Lewis - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=bracken_lewis Holt - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=drholt Napier - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=dr.napier_page Newman - http://www.mchky.org/staff/bio.php?doc_id=50353
2/6/2014 - posted
Genovese - http://www.mchky.org/staff/bio.php?doc_id=35646&sub= Lewis - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=bracken_lewis Holt - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=drholt Napier - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=dr.napier_page Newman - http://www.mchky.org/staff/bio.php?doc_id=50353
Genovese - http://www.mchky.org/staff/bio.php?doc_id=35646&sub= Lewis - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=bracken_lewis Holt - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=drholt Napier - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=dr.napier_page Newman - http://www.mchky.org/staff/bio.php?doc_id=50353
2/6/2014 - posted

In Other News...

Happenings and Meetings - Daviess County

OWENSBORO, Ky. (7/29/14) — The following meetings and events are scheduled for the following week: Events and… Read More

USPCA Region Five Certifications

OWENSBORO, Ky. (7/28/14) — The Owensboro Police Department has announced that they are hosting the United States Police… Read More
Genovese - http://www.mchky.org/staff/bio.php?doc_id=35646&sub= Lewis - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=bracken_lewis Holt - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=drholt Napier - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=dr.napier_page Newman - http://www.mchky.org/staff/bio.php?doc_id=50353
Genovese - http://www.mchky.org/staff/bio.php?doc_id=35646&sub= Lewis - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=bracken_lewis Holt - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=drholt Napier - http://www.mchky.org/getpage.php?name=dr.napier_page Newman - http://www.mchky.org/staff/bio.php?doc_id=50353
2/6/2014 - posted

Most Read This Week (Site-Wide)

July 28, 2014 2870

Madisonville Woman Arrested for Being a…

in Top Stories by Madisonville Police Department
July 28, 2014 2449

Madisonville Man Arrested for Endangering…

in Top Stories by Madisonville Police Department
July 25, 2014 2287

No One Injured in Truck-Train Collision

in Top Stories by Ami Clayton, SurfKY News
July 28, 2014 1996

Disagreement Over Killing Snake in House…

in Top Stories by Madisonville Police Department
July 25, 2014 1593

Business Spotlight - McQuady's Automotive

in Top Stories by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News

Most Read Stories from Hopkins County

July 28, 2014 2870

Madisonville Woman Arrested for Being a…

in Top Stories by Madisonville Police Department
July 28, 2014 2449

Madisonville Man Arrested for Endangering…

in Top Stories by Madisonville Police Department
July 25, 2014 2287

No One Injured in Truck-Train Collision

in Top Stories by Ami Clayton, SurfKY News
July 28, 2014 1996

Disagreement Over Killing Snake in House…

in Top Stories by Madisonville Police Department
July 28, 2014 1511

Two Injured in Vehicle Collision on…

in Top Stories by William Roundtree

Most Read Stories from Owensboro

July 28, 2014 901

Zuberer Takes Over at Quarterback for…

in News by Steve LeMaster
July 28, 2014 826

Dont Miss Out on a Howl of a Good Time

in News by Brittni Bunn
July 28, 2014 619

Instant Admissions Day is Aug. 1, 2014

in News by Bernie Hale
July 28, 2014 342

Prosecutors Mull Over Whether to Charge…

in Top Stories by Dennis Beard, SurfKY News
July 28, 2014 234

Owensboro Police Department Activity…

in Top Stories by Dennis Beard, SurfKY News

Most Read Stories from Muhlenberg County

July 25, 2014 1593

Business Spotlight - McQuady's Automotive

in Top Stories by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
July 25, 2014 1390

Business Spotlight - Blue Moon Car Wash

in Top Stories by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
July 28, 2014 1074

Foot Pursuit Ends with Arrest

in Top Stories by Christopher Rogers
July 25, 2014 1029

Open Mic, Bike Night Offer Good Times in…

in Top Stories by Paul McRee, SurfKY News
July 28, 2014 1007

Boys of Broad to Launch Video at Cinema 4

in Top Stories by Paul McRee, SurfKY News

SurfKY News Group, Inc. Central Office & Printing Division
1125 Nebo Rd.  •  Madisonville, KY 42431  •  270.452.2249 (fax)
Main Number: 270.452.2727 (phone)  •  Printing Division Direct Line: 270.821.8600 (phone)

SurfKY Owensboro News Bureau
920 Frederica St. / Suite 210  •  Owensboro, KY 42301  •  270.683-8060 (phone)


Contact a member of our staff: www.surfky.com/contact
Copyright © 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc.  •  Terms of Use  •  Site Map

social 06social 21social 22social 04social 03