Fully Present

squared circles - Clocks
Image by Leo Reynolds via Flickr

Modern society has upset the rhythm of life” (at least that’s what Dr. David L. McKenna former President of Asbury Theological Seminary, said). Do you agree with him? Is time your friend, allowing you to prioritize your priorities, and pursue your God-given passions and dreams, or are you trapped in the vicious cycles of stress, busyness, and a profound lack of time? McKenna suggests that to live the fullest life possible we must strive to master our time and adhere to a rhythm that balances a combination of worship, work, rest, and play, with each of these components being essential for our physical, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing.

“Work (he says) has been devalued and play has been invaded by the purpose of work. With so much leisure and so many options, play has been subjected to a time-clock schedule with its demand for successful production. In many instances, worship has been eliminated from the rhythm of life and rest has become a dreaded experience on a ‘crash pad.’ The result is that work is a necessary evil, play is work, worship is idolatry and rest is a short course in death.” Unfortunately, my own experience affirms his conclusions.

When I’m praying, I feel guilty that I’m not spending time with my family. When I’m with my family, I lament my lack of prayer. When I’m talking with people I get distracted by the things I forgot to do earlier in the day. When I finally get back to work, I regret not maximizing the time I had with people. Sometimes I feel like I’m everywhere except the present moment—and that’s tragic because the present moment is all I really have. James said it this way, “Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.’ Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.” (James 4:13-14) This certainly isn’t intended to depress us, or make us complacent about preparing for our futures—it’s to remind us that all we really have is this present moment. So let’s continually ask, “Am I fully engaged in this moment that the Lord has given me? Am I maintaining a healthy rhythm of life that allows me to give God and my loved ones my best efforts, or are they stuck with my distracted leftovers?” Let’s discover (or re-discover) the rhythm of life and experience what life could be like when we live it fully present.

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