Consider: Its gone, already, and again, and again -- frustrating me more than anything else in my non-existence of "Now". I try and capture the moment, but other than with a photograph as evidence of past transitory moments, I can't.
By its very definition "Now" is infinitesimal, and anything infinitely small doesn't exist. This non-existence of "Now" drives me to to distraction, and yet I need an infinity of "Now" to be distracted in. How can something that is gone before it existed be so infuriating? The very concept is self contradictory ... to perceive "Now" requires more than an instant, but "Now" is less than an instant if anything at all. How can my mind exist in something that cannot be perceived?
This is the inherent struggle in using a time-loaded language to describe something that has no duration. "Dwell on these thoughts for any duration of time", and you realize that this statement is itself mind-bogglingly stupid -- time is an accumulation of "Now" which has no duration, so how can I dwell on these thoughts. You'll end up in a nut-house if you follow that line of thinking too far.
But I live (or think I do) in the "Now", and I can't escape "Now". I remember a string of past non-existing "Now", and I imagine a stream of future "Now" that has yet to non-exist. I exist in the infinitely small which is bounded by the infinitely large -- the past and the future. And I only know the "Now" by the remaining evidence of past remembered actions. I match the memories of past action with the perceptions of the non-existent "Now". These very words here, I remember writing these, and I see them before me "Now" as evidence of a past.
And so "Now" is the experienced consequence of past actions. That's scary. What I choose in the non-existent "Now" will determine consequences by which I will know my future existence. The consequences are immutable, the actions locked forever in a receding and remembered past.
Yet the mind seems uniquely adapted to this existence, and yet uncomfortable at the same time. This is an amazing element of my being. "Now" is never here, and my mind seems to spend all its effort in trying to be elsewhere. My mind strives constantly to take me to the past or into the future. Its as if my created being, that lives in the non-existent "Now", is designed to not go mad by trying to exist across a broader swath of time.
So I live with a disconnect; my immutable past and my unshaped future. The rock-hard past, and a nebulous vista stretched before me, a future dependent on the past. My existence is bound to this interface, but my spirit strives for freedom.
OK, so perhaps this helps me understand God, and the incredible and amazing thing He does for me. What is the purpose of Jesus but to redeem me ... to rescue me from the confines of what I have locked myself into. And what have I locked myself into, but the consequences of my past actions. My consequences, from my decisions, and my responsibility, which has severed my connection to God. My existence in "Now", is rooted in my unchangeable past.
But then what does God say?
"For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more" - Heb 8:12.
Consider. God remembers my sins no more. That is, the consequences of our past which have defined our "Now" are forgotten. Instead of being trapped by an immutable history of filthy "Now", God chooses (!) to wipe these away. What He's done is remove the shackles that bind me to the interface between rock on one side, and infinite possibility on the other. I'm free to move with vision.
Where once my trying to think through the meaning of "Now" drove me into frustration, now (pun intended) I am suddenly no longer constrained by my previous source of frustration. In God all things are possible. He will "... restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten ..." (Joel 2:25). My spirit, which ever struggled to live beyond the "Now", is suddenly free to exist in a certain past with an infinite cross, and a certain future with an infinite Jesus. It's as if a door has opened in the rock of the past to reveal a landscape of beauty, and the nebulous future has solidified into a landscape of joy. The backdrop is restored for my actions of the future.
Here I am free of "Now", the "Now" becomes merely the nexus between my redeemed past and a glorious future. The continuum is restored, and vision returned. "Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen" (Heb 11:1).
Addendum: so I wonder how non-Christians manage to sustain life on the impossible interface of a non-redeemed "Now". It can only be because they don't realize their predicament. Sad indeed (see here).