Fully Present

Early Saturday afternoon as I sat in the hospital cafeteria with a friend, she offered her help in myriad ways – meals, kids (girls, boys, overnight, just days, her house, my house), etc., etc., and while I truly appreciated her offers, I was overwhelmed by the prospect of not only coordinating, but effectively communicating medication schedules and special diets for some of my kids. I understood her desire to help, to do something more than pray, something physical, tangible, practical, yet all I could manage was, “I honestly don’t know, but I’ll think about it – really! – and let you know.” She paused and quietly replied, “You’re a very hard woman to come alongside in a crisis.”

My friend is right. She wasn’t judging me or being harsh. She’d thoughtfully offered the help she knew I needed, but I was holding her at arm’s length doing the only thing I know to do when things get rough – keep moving forward one step at a time doing what needs to be done.

Throughout the afternoon, my friend’s words hovered at the edges of my thoughts, and slowly, bit by bit revealed a surprising truth. When crisis hits, my perspective instantly shifts and all that exists is the present moment. I am simply, completely, fully immersed in the moment. Wow! What a revelation! As I allowed that thought to sink deeply into my soul, I began to understand what an unexpectedly precious gift comes wrapped in crisis packaging. God was graciously offering me unhurried, distraction-free, intimately focused time with the man I love most in this world, not in a way I’d have chosen, but in a way I couldn’t diminish. Hour after hour, day after day as I sat beside my husband in the hospital, I was simply there. My mind wasn’t processing a dozen extraneous details. I wasn’t distracted by laundry or email or papers that needed to be graded. I wasn’t answering the phone or cutting up vegetables. I was simply there aware of the gentle, rhythmic pumping of the IV, the muffled voices of the nursing staff just beyond the door, the steady ticking of the clock, my husband’s breathing, the quiet rustling of his sheets. I was fully engaged in the moment.

And that’s when it hit me. Isn’t that how we’re supposed to live – fully engaged – not just in crisis, but in every moment of every day of our lives? So fully present that we don’t miss a thing, not a single blessing? Why do we allow ourselves to become so distracted and scattered, so over-committed and busy and stressed that we take all we’ve been given for granted? That we fail to understand all we’ve got till it’s gone?

Oh Father, teach me to live fully engaged, intently present in each moment of my life. Remind me to breathe so deeply of You that I am forever changed, daily infused with Your passion and power and love, able to embrace the surprising and unexpectedly beautiful lessons and blessings hidden in crisis. Amen.

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8 Comments

Filed under Devotionals

8 responses to “Fully Present

  1. Vicki

    AMEN! friend….AMEN! another great blessing and reminder.

  2. Yun

    Another amen! He is God of the present, even though He is author of the past and future.

  3. inmostplace

    Amen!

    I am this kind of person(fully engage in every moment of every day of my lives) since I was a child.

    No matter what I did (devotional time, taking a walk, go to church on Sunday, being with my parents oversea, BtB….etc), I engaged myself fully in that moment and thanked God deeply for that moment.

    Thank you for sharing this. I didn’t know how to describe that feeling until you explained it.

    You are blessed and have blessed me through this post!

    • Inmost, you are blessed to live a fully engaged life. What a gift to those around you!! I pray that in time, I will join you in that beautiful space, being a blessing to those around me. Such a vital lesson!

  4. Jannette

    Wow – you’ve just held a mirror up to my face. I usually have my head-space in three different places….. How much have I missed? I thought that there were so many REALLY important things to do at any given moment, and only so much time to do them in, so doing 2 or 3 things at once was necessary.
    I needed this wake-up call. Thank you for your words today – I need to change a few things.
    Praying for you and your husband too…..

    • Jannette, thank you for your comment. I so appreciate it and apologize for the delay in responding. I needed the same wake up call and I’m grateful for the lesson — even if it was a hard way to learn it. :) Thank you so much for the prayers. My husband is steadily improving and should recover fully in time with no long term residual effects.

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