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Being fully present to the moment

July 19, 2016 by Eric Stillman 0 comments

Posted in: Discipleship

“Be very careful, then, how you live-- not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is.” (Ephesians 5:15-17)

This past Sunday before the benediction, I referenced an older pastor in my life who has the distinct ability to make me feel like he has nowhere else to be and all the time in the world whenever I see him. I have always been touched by his ability to be present with me, to listen well, and to show genuine care for me, without ever feeling like I am interrupting him or holding him up from something more important. I hope and pray that I will be able to be more like him someday.

Tom Walsh, a good friend of mine and former pastor of Crossroads Community Church in Vernon and former associate pastor at First Church in Wethersfield, shared this past Sunday from Psalm 131 about living an unhurried life. As the example of the older pastor I referenced earlier shows, it is possible to be a very busy person and still be unhurried, to be fully present in the moment to what God has put in front of you without thinking of all the other things you could be doing. As I reflect on my life and my family, I can see how much of our life is lived in a hurry: we are often either hurrying somewhere or recovering from the hurry. As a result, I am often less than fully present at home, unable to give my full attention and energy to my family. I can be short-tempered, walk away distracted when someone is talking to me, or be in such need of alone time that I am unavailable to play with or listen to my kids.

It is incredible to consider that one of God’s Ten Commandments to the Israelites in Exodus 20 was that they would take a day off. The Sabbath was meant to be a reminder of God’s rest after creating the world, as well as a reminder that they were no longer slaves in Egypt. But more than that, the Sabbath is a declaration of trust in God, that even when we stop working, He is still always at work, working all things together for our good and His glory. The world does not depend upon us and our tireless work. God is in charge. So work hard, but then rest. When you rest from your labors, even when your long list of labors still to-do is not complete, you are declaring your trust in God. When you choose to be present in the moment – with your family, your friend, or just alone with God – you are choosing to heed Jesus’ words to not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow has enough troubles of its own (Matthew 6:34).

Seek first God’s kingdom, and make the most of the opportunities in life that He gives you. But don’t become so busy that you are always in a hurry, missing out on the precious moments right in front of you. Rest, and remember that God is always working, even when you are not.

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