I have determined to live my life fully present. Regrettably, that hasn’t always been the case. It is odd that we have to make that decision, but we do. Our default state of being is not one where we are not present. At least not fully present. I don’t know about you, but I have found that I can be in a room and not be present. I can be engaged in a conversation and not be present. I can get by without really showing up.
So, I am choosing to show up and be fully present.
I am choosing to see what I have previously not seen.
I am choosing to hear what I have previously not heard.
I am choosing to want to be only where I am.
I am not talking about taking a passive approach to life. In fact, just the opposite. Being fully present requires a more active approach to life.
Recently I wrote down my dream for my life. I won’t share all of it here, but I’ll share one line from dream.
“I dream of being fully present with my family, never taking for granted the beautiful chairos nature of the mundane, simple, everyday, and ordinary.”
A few months ago I was sitting on my bed with my son, Luke. We were just sitting there and playing. He was sitting in front me with his back to me as I laid on my side. It was a simple moment, and yet in that ordinary-nothing-special-moment, my soul’s eyes opened to a painful reality: “I am going to mess this beautiful child up.” Almost simultaneously I had another thought: “I pray we raise him to have the courage to share with me how I have messed him up. How I let him down and hurt him. And I pray I am courageous enough to hear it and ask for forgiveness.” Being fully present in that moment allowed me to see a deep truth about being a parent. If I was on my phone I would not have seen that. Even if I was doing something good, thinking about that week’s sermon, I would have missed it.
I don’t want to miss those moments.
I believe we miss out on many profound moments because we are “somewhere” else. We are thinking of the next thing. We are anticipating a difficult conversation. We want to be in a different place in life. But it takes an active decision to be only where we are. Right where we are there are good things. I had a drink with someone the other night who is going through something extremely difficult. I mean, they are going through things the rest of us pray ardently against. With all they are going through do you know what we talked about? The good moments in the midst of pain. His advice to me was to be present even in the difficult to see the beautiful. To not try and get away from the situation, but to enter into it to see the good. That’s what I want. To be fully present and drink deeply of the ordinary and beautiful moments.
I want to be present.
When I come home and am greeted by my wife with a kiss.
When my son hugs me and says, “I love you, daddy.”
When the sun sets.
When a warm spring breeze blows across my face.
When I laugh hard with friends while standing in a parking lot.
When I hurt someone and need to feel the impact of my actions.
When I smell coffee in the morning.
Life, with everything it throws at us, is still good and beautiful. God said the world was “very good” at creation, and then backed up the claim by entering into creation, not to destroy, but to restore. The resurrection backs up that “very good” declaration by restoring embodied life.
So I will actively fight for life.
I want to be present to life. I want to be right where I am when I am there to see and hear and experience all it has to offer.
Because I don’t want to miss a thing.