This is where I start


After nearly a year of sabbatical, it is time for me to start blogging again.  Sorry to all of you who have missed your regular dose of The Hill of Beans. Rest assured that I am on track to keep blogging exciting and thought-provoking articles throughout 2017.  My sabbatical over the past year has been a great time of rejuvenation, drawing closer to my wife, and learning how to live in the moment.  I highly recommend it!

So what is up with The Hill of Beans in 2017?  I am committed to write and blog several times a week.  I will continue to comment on a variety of topics and continue the conversation about “what really matters in this crazy world?”

I just finished reading a thought provoking book by Rob Bell titled, How to be here.  Although not theologically deep nor accurate, this book looks at “finding purpose, joy and meaning in your life, and wisdom for how to keep moving forward on your path.”

Within this book, the author describes a one-time encounter with a rental car clerk who impressed him for her positive attitude and work ethic.  While talking about her long work days at the San Francisco’s busiest rental office, she commented, “this where I start”.

Think about it.  Let that phrase sink in.  It is truly an amazing line.

This is where I start.

You may be in the wrong place. You may feel like you’re not fully here because you need to be somewhere else. … Sometime we feel like we’re standing at a distance from our own life because we need to get to another life. … the reason we don’t feel fully here is rooted in how we’re thinking about where we are.  After three minutes in that rental car office, I noticed how fully present that woman behind the counter was.  It was noticeable… She said, ‘This is where I start.’”

We start with the here and now. We only have this present moment to live.  We give right now the best we got.  We can have dreams and aspirations, but they are the future.  We can’t change them, yet.  We can only change, manipulate, or deal with the present moment. We can only strive for our dreams by living in the here and now.  We all have to start somewhere.   Take the first step. We begin any project or task by accomplishing Step 1.

The car rental agent had the right attitude.  She may not see her job as the ultimate achievement of her life, but for today, for the time she was on shift, she gave it her all.

King David described this attitude thousands of years ago when he wrote Psalm 37:3

“Trust in the Lord and do good.  Dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.”

Dwelling in the land is living in the present.  Give the present moment and the people who immediately surround you your complete attention.  It is not pining away or fretting about an unknown future (that’s where the trusting in the Lord comes in). It is dealing with the present moment, the next small step in the correct direction.  As we frequently say in recovery group “one day at a time”.  We only have today to live.  Live today fully for what it has to offer.

The Apostle Paul adds to this discussion when he encouraged the church with these words:

“Whatever you do, work heartily as for the Lord and not for men.” Colossians 3:23

We are all meant to live our lives for a purpose, no matter what we do, whether it is considered a menial task or what appears to be some “world changing” mission.  What matters is our attitude.  Living in the present.  Taking the first step.  Rejoicing that we can fulfill our God-given design.

This is my endeavor or theme for 2017 – to live for today, to give right now all my attention, to work with all my heart at the one task at hand.  For me this will include cultivating the habit of laying aside distractions and focusing on the present.  I intend to give more attention to what is important, and try to de-emphasize what is merely “urgent” or “convenient”.  Hopefully this will be reflected in my writing and that I may have something to encourage you as we move forward on this journey called life.

Blessings on you throughout the New Year – 2017


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About John Forrest