“Wherever you are, be all there! Live to the hilt every situation you believe to be the will of God.”
How many times have you been sitting directly in front of someone while they’re talking and talking, and you haven’t heard a single thing they’ve said?
Although you’re giving the occasional “nod” and “mmm hmm” to every word said, yet nothing has registered. Physically you are in the same room, but mentally, you couldn’t be further away.
You are in the world of…
…the to do list that seems eternal…
…laundry that’s piled to the ceiling…
…the never-ending grocery list…
…emails that must be responded to…
…”oh my phone just vibrated, and I can’t miss that, so let me take a look!”…
…I have so much to do at work tomorrow…
Everywhere BUT here, in this conversation.
Raise your hand if you can relate!
My hand is raised and I will be the first to say I am guilty. And I don’t know about you, but I don’t like being the person on the other end – the one talking and being only half heard.
Because there is something deep within us that longs for connection.
To be heard. To be understood.
But I also don’t like being the person who isn’t present. The one who is there in body but mentally somewhere far, far away.
Instead of making New Years resolutions, I have a word of the year. A word that I want to live up to. A word that I would like to be known as. This year I have chosen the word “presence” and it’s two-fold.
First and most importantly, I want to stay in the presence of the True Light that has come into this world. I don’t want to just open my Bible and read a few verses, pray, and be on my merry way.
I want to enter into the presence of the most High God…
Where there is true rest, everlasting peace, unrelenting grace, true forgiveness, and indescribable joy.
I know that abiding in Him and living in His presence brings these things.
I know because I’ve been there.
Let’s think about the story of Mary and Martha. Jesus comes over to visit. Martha is scurrying around, trying to perfect everything for his visit. But she never sat down with Him. Mary, on the other hand, knew and believed that sitting in God’s presence was the very best…and ONLY thing to do. She was truly engaged. She chose the good portion that could not be taken from her. Now, if I am honest, I am Martha to the Nth degree. And I used to think that Mary was just lazy and she didn’t want to clean house or prepare food…and sitting at Jesus’ feet was an excuse that no one could argue with. But I was oh so wrong. The only thing that cannot be taken from us is Him. Our to-do lists. Our laundry piles. The emails. Our iPhones. These things may seem important, and to a certain degree they are, but they will not last. This world is wasting away, and only He will remain.
“Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.””
And I also want to be “present” in my own life. In conversations with other people. I don’t want to just exist and let “whatever” happen. I want to be engaged…in conversations, in support of others doing something they are passionate about, in my community, at my workplace, and in my church.
And also I want to be mindful of all things around me. It’s easy for me to drive down the road and totally zone out to what is going on around me…and the next thing I know, I have arrived at my destination. But there is so much to see and this world has so much for us to take in, if only we are present.
The beautiful trees exploding with Spring, puffy clouds on the backdrop of a bright blue sky, wildflowers that grow on the side of the road in the country, cotton fields in a sea of white, and the sweet smell of honeysuckle in the summertime!
“For a day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere.
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness”
What about you? Do you have a “word” that you seek to live out? If not, I challenge you to think and pray about one area in your life you could grow in. It doesn’t have to be anything elaborate, just something that challenges you!