We cannot go back to the past nor forward to the future: the present is all we have; but often we are reluctant to admit as much, or see the present as some sort of interruption, more or less unwelcome, to what we really want — which is always unattainable, something ‘out there’ that is perfect in the way that we conceive perfection. To recognise the perfection of the present we have to be willing to let go of our own ideas, slow down a moment, be silent and still. We have to allow the present to embrace us. If we do, we realise that much of what we strive after is rather ridiculous. Israel worshipped a golden calf because it wanted a tangible sign of God’s presence but failed to see the promise written in the stars and grains of sand. We can be like that. Perhaps today we could spend a little while thinking about the idols in our own lives, the ones that keep us from living fully in the present and allowing God to embrace us with his love and forgiveness.