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The Beauty of the Now

By Andrew Stevens

“You have to know how to seize just the right moment in a landscape instantaneously, because that particular moment will never come again, and you’re always wondering if the impression you got was truthful.” -Claude Monet

Over the holidays, my family was able to see the Monet Exhibit at the Denver Art Museum. I do not have a brain for art, but, thankfully, they had an audio tour that you could listen to as you walked around. The most moving thing to me was how Monet could capture one scene at several different times of the day and during different seasons. He has a series of paintings called Haystacks where he painted the same haystacks 25 different times.

I was amazed and baffled by this. Why paint the same thing over and over again? What is going to change that you need to paint it so many times?  And he did this with a variety of different backgrounds.

Monet captured an idea that I need in my life.  He realized and emphasized the fact that no moment is the same as the previous moment.  

Every second in our life comes with a different view.  

I can get so caught up with the future concerns, the pressures of the present, and the regrets of the past that I lose the beauty of the now. Every once in a while though, I find clarity and see the moment for the uniqueness that it holds. 

Jesus talked about this in Matthew 6. In the “Do not worry” section of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus asks the question: “Why Worry?”  Why worry about food?  He takes care of the birds of the air.  Aren’t you more valuable?  Why worry about clothes?  God clothes nature. Will he not clothe you too?  What are you going to add to your life by worrying?

I love the way Jesus closes this section.  In the Message version, Matthew 6:34 says, “Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow.  God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.”

We can learn from Monet’s example.  Seize each situation and realize that “particular moment will never come again.”  Even the mundane parts of life are still special moments that will never be repeated. 

Lean into God and live each moment without worrying about the next. 
Learn to find the beauty of the now.