What keeps people from experiencing peace in their lives?  

Jeanne Stevens is the lead pastor of Soul City Church in Chicago, Illinois and author of What's Here Now?: How to Stop Rehashing the Past and Rehearsing the Future--and Start Receiving the Present.

She says when it comes down to itwhat keeps us from experiencing peace is either living in the past or living for the future.

"The past is a great place to learn from, but it's a terrible place to live, and the future is a great place to hope for, but it's an impossible place to live in," said Stevens. "The present is where God lives and where God invites us to live."

Jeanne says when we obsess over what's already happened or put all of our efforts into creating a picture-perfect tomorrow, we miss what God has for us here and now. 

"The result is regret over what we can't change and anxiety over what we feel we must change, " Jeanne explains. "That's not what God wants for us."

Learning to live in the present is not a simple task for everyone, but Jeanne says it can be done. She says the simple path to peace is being present.

"For me, what I do when I realize I'm either rehashing the past or rehearsing the future is that I pay attention to what Jesus encourages us to do. Pay attention to our bodies, pay attention to our hearts and pay attention to our minds." 

"By incorporating this simple question into your everyday life, you will experience freedom from unhealthy patterns of relating to God and others through the avenues of shame, guilt, worry, and anxiety."

Today on Connections, Jeanne Stevens helps us slow down, center ourselves, and ask the all-important question, What's Here Now?