Have you ever noticed that we live in a world where people seem to be present, physically, while being miles away in their minds?
How do you feel when you are trying to share something that is pressing on your heart with someone hoping they will listen and respond with care, encouragement and if asked for some helpful advice – only to realize –) they haven’t heard a word you said?
I know for sure that it’s hurtful.
Someone I was listening to recently let me know how they felt – yours truly was the one wool gathering (some examples – making the grocery list, thinking about your next blog topic, wondering if it’s time to go and pick so and so up, just plain not interested in the person but feel obligated to show up and spend time with them, you know what your reasoning is and it can be different in each situation).
After the person shared how they felt, I went home and thought about it and realized that the “cares of this world” or the busyness of life have caused my mind to be in a whirlwind of thinking – and if I am not careful I won’t be demonstrating LOVE for the other person through the respect of “listening to them.”
Other times, I know that I have decided to meet with a friend and make sure I set enough time so I don’t have to be a clock watcher every 5 minutes and intentionally decide to be with them in the moment. What a great time that turns out to be. Surprisingly, I come away feeling encouraged and rejuvenated — even more so than waking up after a restful nap!
So how can we choose to be present to have focused engagement in what we are doing?
As always God sets the stage for us.
“Be still and know that I am God.” The Hebrew word for “be still” literally means to “cease” or “cease striving”. It means to push the pause button on and forsake everything else in our lives to be present with Him. And this is what we can do when we are spending time with others – push the pause button – and give them our focused attention.
How To Be Present:
.1. Be content with this current moment. Let’s stop thinking about past or future moments and enjoy the one we are in. Philippians 4:11 shows us that contentment is something we can learn.
Philippians 4:11-13 – “for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”
.2. Be thankful for the moments we share. There is time to think about our past and futures when we are alone.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 — 18 give thanks in all circumstances;
.3. Prayer. Let’s ask God to help us be present when we have the opportunity to be with others. After all we want others to be present when they have the opportunity to spend time with us. Ask Him to grant you the love, patience and joy that you need to have great relationships with others.
Colossians 4:2-6 — 2 Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. 3 And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. 4 Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. 5 Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. 6 Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.
.4. Love – Let’s demonstrate love for others by “Being Present” when we have the opportunity to spend time with them.
1 Corinthians 16:14 — 14 Do everything in love.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 — 4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.8 Love never fails.
.5. Peace – Let’s trust that God will take care of everything so we don’t have to be anxious and can enjoy our time with others.
Philippians 4:6-7 — “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
What I am learning – To “Be Present” is to enjoy the time that I am with others TODAY and let them know they are important.
To “Be Present” in today’s world actually takes effort. What changes can you make this week to “be present”? Comment below.