Being Present, Right Now

How often do you find that your mind is not on the moment you are in, but you are thinking instead about something that has happened previously, or thinking about what something that is about to happen?

For instance, you had something upsetting happen earlier and you are still dwelling on it, OR you have a big meeting later in the day and it is on your mind.

A person with you might say, "Where is your head right now?" What they are really saying is, "You aren't present with me right now."

In the same way, how often do you find yourself, distracted with your phone/social media, even though you are with people, OR unable to focus on what you need, to so you turn to something like social media?
We might say that the phone and its applications have largely robbed us of being present to others, or that when we don't want to be present to something difficult, we seek out distraction.

Today, I sat down at Starbucks to work... and I had a lot of work to get down in a short time, but, because I am practicing being present, was aware of the person next to me, and when they struck up a conversation, was ready to be present.

It turns out she is a former Muslim who had just started going to church, and that she had just lost her mother to cancer. We had an amazing conversation and I was able to encourage her and pray for her.

I say this because - this moment would not have happened unless I was actively seeking to be present to God and/or to the people around me in the way I am not usually.

I also practiced this last night when instead of turning on the TV in my tired state, I tried to be present to my children and spent 30 minutes with my son, hanging in the hammock.

As part our fall challenge, I wonder what will happen in your life if you are aware of how often we are not present to the moment, and, if you ask God to help you with this, what you might discover.

Grace & Peace,
Brad Swope

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