Have you ever been in a room but really been a thousand other places? Your mind wandering through to-do lists and people you need to check in with and whatever you’re sure you forgot to do earlier?
I am the queen at this. Or at least I used to be. I’m trying to abdicate that throne.
Being present in the moment is so much harder than it seems. Especially in this day and age where our phones are constantly filling us in on what it happening outside of our present situation.
This and that celebrity are engaged. Your friends are at a party somewhere without you. Here’s how five fabulous people are doing five fabulous things that make you feel like you’re doing nothing spectacular at all.
It can be amazing to have all this information at our fingertips, but I’m learning there has to be a time to put it away. To just be where I am and not anywhere else.
The holiday season is on us – the most wonderful time of the year! For so many years, though, I’ve made the mistake of zooming past the wonderful. The awe of twinkling lights, the smell of tantalizing treats baking, the joy of family togetherness. I’ve made the mistake of bundling together those ideals, calling them “the holidays,” and then zooming past them as if they are nothing spectacular at all.
I got stuck in my to-do lists of projects and exams, shopping, baking, planning for family, that I forgot to actually take part in all of those things.
A parable Christ taught, a story in Chapter 13 of the Gospel of Matthew, tells of a sower of seeds. He throws out his seeds, very non-mindfully for some slightly unclear reason, and they land in a few different types of terrain. Seeds landed on rocky ground, were unable to root and died. Some seeds landed amongst weeds, the weeds stifled them and the seeds died. Lastly, some seeds fell to rich, soft soil. These seeds were able to take deeps roots and grow strong.
We typically view this parable in light of taking in the Word of Christ, in nurturing a safe place for the Word to land and take root in our hearts. But I think we can also learn to take in the joys of life in this same way. After all, God made all that is good, joy most included, and true joy is gifted to us all around.
During this holiday season, let us be rich, soft soil for the seeds of joy and love. Let us be open and present to the moment that we are in, not hardened by our own expectations of how we think the season might go. Let us be free from distractions, not stifled by the choking social media feeds and to-do lists.
Let’s be present. It’ll be the best present we give to others this season…. and also the best present for ourselves.