Mercy of what? Of now – now, as in the present? Yes! What does that mean?
Aren’t we at the mercy of fate? Do we have any control over our future? So many questions and so few answers! :-)
In many of my posts, I have emphasized the importance of being present in the present. I think that’s important, but I also think it’s easy to confuse being present in the present with being stagnant in the present.
Let’s briefly consider what it might mean to be, “at the mercy of now.” If a person is at the mercy of now, then whatever s/he is thinking, living, doing, etc. in the present, determines her/his future. Of course, our thoughts, lifestyle, etc. play a role in partially determining our future, but should it be such a determining factor that we are stuck in the now? I think not. Are we at the mercy of what we are now, OR, are we at the mercy of what we are becoming? I think the latter.
You see, it boils down to whether you believe you are at the mercy of who you are OR who you are becoming. If you choose who you are, then you’re at the mercy of fate (now). If you choose who you are becoming, then you work toward what you want to be and have more control over your future. Frankly, it’s a belief system that affects what happens to you.
If you believe you have control over your future, then you are usually willing to change. Changing allows you to become someone different and ideally, better than the present you. Here’s an appropriate maxim that summarizes the main idea of this post: “What you are becoming is often more important than what you are accomplishing.” Accomplishing implies present and past. Becoming implies present and future! If you don’t want to be at the mercy of now (fate), then you must constantly try to be the new and “better than now” person. No, not “holier than thou,” just “better than now!” :-)
I once heard a story about a depressed college professor for whom therapy, religion nor family were able to help. One day, the professor’s automobile had a flat tire on a major highway, many miles away from help. Unfortunately, the “absent minded professor” had forgotten his cell phone. At first, he didn’t do anything but sit in the car, stunned, and realizing that it had been over thirty years since he had changed a tire. After awhile, even though he wasn’t sure how to use tools needed for changing the tire, he started trying to change it. He read the manual, found the tools, made mistakes, had successes, and eventually, got the spare tire on the car. The whole episode took him two hours. Back in the car, while traveling toward his destination he realized that he no longer was depressed. Why?
For the professor, it was this relatively small and successfully completed task that showed his mind the way to approach larger problems. When we do such things, we realize we really do have more control over our destiny than our present-day thinking reveals. We can do more, if we try! We must believe in ourselves and try. We must dive in and start. We don’t have to be perfect, but we do have to be trying.
Are you at the mercy of now (fate)? Are you at the mercy of what you are trying (becoming)? Hopefully, BECOMING!