A few weeks ago I was driving down to Florida for family vacation. I had a random mix playing on my iPod and the Justin Bieber song “Stuck In the Moment” came on. I have heard this song a bunch of times (I have a seven year-old niece!), but as I was driving by myself, relaxing, I started listening to the words. In the song he lists some famous love story couples that faced tragedy, like Romeo and Juliet.
But then he mentioned Adam and Eve.
It kind of took me off guard and I wondered why he had included them (he wrote this song). But, the more I thought about it in the context of the song, the more the reality of their tragedy hit me. Adam and Eve knew what it was like to be in the presence of God…like His actual presence. They could stand before Him shamelessly, without sin. And then in an instant sin entered the picture and they were separated from Him.
I’m sure most of us have experienced the feeling of just wanting to go back in time. To get back to the good place in a relationship, to go back to that happy feeling we had in a certain moment. There is a longing for it, a groaning almost, and life just doesn’t seem like it can ever be right again. Well, imagine that from Adam and Eve’s perspective. They knew God in person, and then had to live the rest of their lives without Him. I can’t even imagine it. There is a part of the song that says:
I wish we had another time,
I wish we had another place,
But everything we have is stuck in the moment,
And there’s nothing my heart can do,
To fight with time and space ’cause,
I’m still stuck in the moment with you.
The reality is that we are all stuck in the moment. We were designed for fullness in God, for glory, for sinlessness, and to be in the presence of our Creator. But right now we are stuck in the moment, stuck in an incomplete state. And we feel the groaning. Sometimes it hits me in the form of loneliness, even when I’m surrounded by people. That feeling that I’m not home, that I don’t belong here. I’m stuck in the moment.
We grasp for the memories, for the relationships, for that feeling of knowing that we are where we are meant to be. Paul puts it like this when he writes to the people of Rome:
20 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 that[i] the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? 25 But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.
26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will.
So what are we supposed to do with this feeling of being stuck in the moment? Well, we groan. And we trust that when we don’t have words, the Spirit that works in us does. And one glorious day, we will be unstuck.