Neil Folks: Nothing exists outside of 'now'

Grandma used to say, “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery and today is a gift. That’s why it’s called ‘the present.’”

Now is listed as an adverb in the dictionary — a modifier of verbs, telling how, when, where and to what degree the action is performed. Have you ever experienced, done, thought or felt anything outside the now in this moment?

Nothing ever happened in the past; it happened in the now. Nothing will ever happen in the future — it’s still to come. When it does come, it happened in the now.

As you read this article, your mind should be at full concentration (not multi-tasking) on each word in the now as you read across the page. If you are not fully in the now, you are either daydreaming or multi-tasking!

It’s the decision we make at this very moment — now — that will determine our future. We need not worry about tomorrow or revelations, for it has not arrived. Tomorrow or revelations will take care of itself if we make the right decisions in today’s now, in this very second.

The past is but a memory trace, stored in the mind, “of a former now.” The future is an imagined now — a projection of the mind. Yet, the past and future are real, sometimes even more real than the present. The past determines who we are as well as how we perceive and behave in the present. Setting goals for the future determines which decisions we make in the present and what actions they lead to.

The power of now.

As I was doing my research on the word now, it was very interesting what I came across. In Strong’s “Exhausted Concordance Of the Bible,” there are approximately 1,330 verses containing the word now. I then went on the internet, where I found 125 million hits on the definition of now. So accessing the power of now, it must be a very strong and important adverb. Just how strong? Well, you are about to make a decision right at this moment that will have great bearing and impact on your tomorrow. What guidelines will you use to help you make the right decision that will benefit you and your community the most in the future?

Here are two guidelines I use to hopefully make the right decision right now. The first guideline I follow is that of Rotary International called “The 4-Way Test.” It guides us on the things we think, say or do. The first one is: Is it the truth? Second: Is it fair to all concerned? Third: Will it build goodwill and better friendships? And fourth: Will it be beneficial to all concerned?

Another set of principles I find very guiding is from James P. Owen, founder of Center For Cowboy Ethics and Leadership, called Ten Principles to Live By:

■ Live each day with courage.

■ Take pride in your work.

■ Always finish what you start.

■ Do what has to be done.

■ Be tough but fair.

■ When you make a promise keep it.

■ Ride for the brand.

■ Talk less and say more.

■ Remember that some things aren’t for sale.

■ Know where to draw the line.

So, do unto others what you would like to have done unto you, love thy neighbor as thyself and pray for your enemy. To me, decisions are like passenger pigeons, what you send out will always come home to roost. You never know where you’ll meet Jesus. Blessings of the Holy Spirit to you in the now.

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