Are You Here?

God showed me something recently that I want to share with you because we all go through times of craziness in this life… WE LOSE OUR JOY WHEN WE LOSE OUR PRESENCE.

Here’s what I mean: I think the main reason we lose our joy in the middle of chaos/busyness/stress/etc. is simply because we are no longer present in the immediate and are too busy concentrating on what we “should” be doing, feeling, saying, preparing for, and so on. Think about it… picture the last time you were short tempered or sharp with someone when they did nothing to deserve it. Was it possibly because there was something else that you had your mind on and you just didn’t have time for whatever they were bringing to the table?

I am TERRIBLE about doing this, especially with my family. I could come up with all kinds of excuses: I’m a planner, I like looking at the “big picture” instead of the little annoying details, I have too much to get done, sound familiar? All of these things are true, and are fine when it is TIME to do those things… but I should never get so caught up in what I think I have to do, that I neglect whatever I’m {supposed} to be doing in that moment. Because of this, I often get irritated with whatever IS in the moment because my mind is too busy trying to get other things done. The result? Aggravated wife, short-tempered Mama, and injured relationships. Ouch.

We live in a society that feeds our minds anything we want- immediately, and stresses how important it is that we move on to the “next thing”. We may think we are being a good worker or efficient mom, but how many things have suffered in the wake of our productivity? This is not to say that there isn’t a time to work! In those times, we can gently move the unnecessary distractions aside and focus… but we have to know what (or who) is necessary at that particular time. There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven–

“A time to give birth and a time to die;
A time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted.
A time to kill and a time to heal;
A time to tear down and a time to build up.
A time to weep and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn and a time to dance.
A time to throw stones and a time to gather stones;
A time to embrace and a time to shun embracing.
A time to search and a time to give up as lost;
A time to keep and a time to throw away.
A time to tear apart and a time to sew together;
A time to be silent and a time to speak.
A time to love and a time to hate;
A time for war and a time for peace…
He has made everything appropriate in its time.”
(Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8, 11)
I can’t help but hear The Byrds singing this when I read it… but it did start with Scripture.
Point being- Yes, there are times to focus on work, even when kids are vying for our attention (they have to learn patience and selflessness just like we do), but we have to grow up and know when we should keep working and when to stop for the interruption. This is where our joy comes in: no matter what is necessary at the moment, it is in that moment that we have to be completely present. If not, we give up our full focus and our ability to peacefully embrace what God might be doing in a situation; even if the situation is as small as reading a short book to a cuddly 2 year old.

Jesus’ ENTIRE ministry was chock-full of interruptions! He put Himself fully into whatever was immediately necessary, even if He was busy with something else. Jesus was never short-tempered due to “lack of time” and He was never impatient when He had somewhere else to be and a need presented itself. He was fully involved in every moment. How much calmer would we be if we allowed ourselves a “time” for everything and were completely present in that time?

FOCUS IS ESSENTIAL BUT MUST CARRY WITH IT A BALANCED MEASURE OF INTERRUPT-ABILITY.

Jesus knew the importance of staying in the present. We can learn from the past and plan for the future, we can work responsibly and accomplish great things- but we cannot forget that it is in the present that God works in and through us. We will see a difference in ourselves when we start to make “Present-Living” a priority, and the people around us will too.

 

Cassie Weller