- Melinda K. Bowens
So, what if I was...actually present ?
Here’s a snapshot into how my brain works on any given day:
Me: I’m going to have quiet time with God this morning.
My brain: But you really need to go to the gym.
Me: I’m going to sit down and write this blog post.
My brain: You’re going to finish a post before you grade papers for work?!
Me: I have a meeting in a few hours.
My brain: Great, you can answer all these unanswered emails while you’re there.
And these examples go on and on and on. There’s a continuous running list of things that I am doing and a second list of things I think I should be doing. (ALL. THE. TIME.) The gist of what I’m saying is that no matter where I actually am, I’m forever jumping to the next task in my mind (or what I’ve made up to be the next task).
I’ve said before that I can be extremely task oriented and that there is nothing better than a completed checklist (I mean, I know there are better things in reality, but still). The rush of release I feel knowing there is one less demand on me is every bit of euphoric. It’s the same feeling I get when someone cancels plans that start after my bedtime (I’m 83 in my soul, so this is a big deal). But nevertheless, I tend to live somewhere between what I am doing and what I should be doing. The problem with living in that place of “between” is that I’m never actually present anywhere I go.
So, what does that even mean? I’m happy you asked. That means no matter my physical location, I’m typically somewhere else mentally. That means, I’m physically in my quiet time with God, but I’m mentally at the gym. Or I’m physically writing a blog post, while mentally being at work. Or physically in a meeting, while mentally answering emails. But more than a few meetings or missed gym sessions, this is something we do quite often in life. We’re in one stage of life consistently daydreaming about the next stage of life.
We may be students now, but we fanaticize about being done with school forever. Or we’re single now, but perpetually play our wedding day in our minds. Or we have a job, but we are planning the perfect exit just in case the manger says something wrong today. It’s so very common these days for us to continuously romanticize the future. But what about today? What about the present? It needs some loving too!
Something we all know is that we can’t physically be in two places at one time. No matter how hard try, no matter what the futuristic movies told us, we cannot not physically be in two places at once. But I would take that one step further. We also cannot mentally be in two places at one time. I know, I know. I pre-heard the audible sighs of the super duper multi-taskers out there. But hear me out.
If we are each one whole being that means at best we are only using a fragment of ourselves with ever task we take on. While we have bits and pieces of ourselves scattered over 37 different areas, that leaves everyone, including us, feeling a bit cheated. Because when we are supposed to be 100% focused on family today, we skim 22% to do “just a little work” and maybe another 18% to “check a few emails.” We can still be physically present but only giving 60% to those we love most before we realize it.
Today, I hope we stop cheating ourselves, cheating our love ones, say no to a few more things, and love on our present as much as we love on our future.
Question of the day:
How could you be more present today?
So do not worry about tomorrow; it will have enough worries of its own. There is no need to add to the troubles each day brings.
Matthew 6:34 GNT
God cares for you, so turn all your worries over to him.
1 Peter 5:7 CEV
Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?
Matthew 6:27 NLT