“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” ~Ferris Bueler in the movie Ferris Bueler’s Day Off
Do you ever feel like you’re missing your life? We blink and the kids are grown or aging parents suddenly need us. And those dreams or plans we had for our lives? They now seem out of reach as we wonder where the time went.
Our society is plagued with information overload, multitasking and our attention span has diminished to mere seconds. Is this the life God planned for us? For me at least, I believe the answer is no.
I want to stop and look around like Ferris says (not that I agree with all of his choices in the movie). I want to be more present in my own life before I miss it. So for the next seven weeks we’ll dig into what it means to truly be present. I love the acronym memory technique so we’ll focus on each letter of the word as we explore being PRESENT.
There are many variations of being present and initially mindfulness and awareness came to mind (pun intended). But for me it all starts with being purposeful. So let’s begin with P for purposeful.
Last week we explored our purpose and realized that OUR purpose comes to full fruition in HIS purpose for us. Our lives are meant to honor and reflect God to the world around us. But if all we are doing is going through the motions as we rush through life, are we truly honoring and reflecting God?
Living a life being fully present isn’t just about fulfilling our purpose but also about being present ON purpose-with intent. Living present on purpose is intentionally being there even if or when we don’t want to be. It’s being aware of everything and everyone around us and honoring and reflecting God in the midst of it, even the difficult.
Occasionally my children will say “I don’t want to” to something I ask of them. I explain that I do many things daily that I don’t want to! That’s life. It’s the same with being present. Sometimes we don’t want to be fully present in an uncomfortable situation or with a difficult person. But that’s what God calls us to do-reflect Him in every moment, not just the ones we want or prefer.
Jesus was fully present in the hard and ultimately most difficult moment. Let’s not shy away from our moments but find God’s strength to be present in them. I’ve found it’s in these hard moments that I sense God’s presence the most. But only when I’m fully present in them.
Life does move pretty fast as Ferris pointed out. How can we practice purposefully being present so we don’t miss what God has for us? How can we put on our new nature like the apostle Paul reminds us?
Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy. Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children. Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God. ~Ephesians 4: 23-24, 5:1-2
Maybe it’s tuning out social media to engage with friends or family in person. Maybe it’s calling or texting someone in need and offering something even if it’s just yourself. Better yet, just show up. In some of my darkest days, my true friends just showed up. They didn’t always say much, but their presence was powerful.
Let’s engage purposefully in our lives and the lives of those around us. It doesn’t have to be incredible gestures. It’s as simple as hanging out with our kids, family and friends. Notice the servers, wave to the crossing guard or say hi to the coworker who seems down. Being aware and acknowledging others is the first step in reflecting God to them.
Let’s also purposefully be present with God. Worship, read His Word, pray and seek Him. God is ever present with us, let’s purposefully seek Him and as He says, we WILL find Him.
For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. ~Matthew 7:8
It’s time to be purposeful and present. Let’s not miss any more of our days, by simply going through the motions. The song Motions by Matthew West sums this up well and became my mantra after a hard season years ago. Living for His purpose has meant many different and at times, difficult moments. But they have been some of the most amazing years of my life.
It’s easy to slip into following the crowd, mindlessly passing our days checking off our to-do list or living with blinders to the world around us. But there’s so much more!
God has an amazing plan for each of us. Let’s live for His purpose, on purpose. Let’s be present on purpose today, this Lenten season and for all our days.
Join me this lenten season and share how you’re being purposefully present. Use the hashtag #BePresent on social media and let’s encourage each other!