“The present is raw, real, alive, and scary, commanding my attention. I see how you have been with me, but only in the present can I actually be with you.”
God is talking here, responding to a question God asked of Mack about how Mack spent his time: present, past, or future.
Mack answered, “I suppose I would have to say that I spend very little time in the present. For me, I spend a big piece in the past, but most of the rest of the time, I am trying to figure out the future.”
Today I find comfort in knowing that God–or whatever you choose to call your spiritual connection–is as close to me as my breath. God is.
Try an experiment. Go outside and just stand or sit still for a few moments. Whenever your attention lights somewhere as you look around, think, God is.
When I let Jaxson out this morning, the first thing I noticed was the cooler temperature. God is. (Actually, I said, Thank you, God!)
A soft breeze kissed my cheek. God is.
A cardinal chirped while flying overhead. God is.
Sun rays peeked through the early morning clouds. God is.
The point is, God is really there–everywhere–waiting for your acknowledgement and your welcoming.
God is, even in tragedy
Our church family at Cathedral of Hope, United Church of Christ received some terrible news over the weekend. Our senior pastor’s executive assistant, Lee Covington, died last Friday, the victim of a vicious homicide. I’ve been reading everyone’s thoughts and tributes to him on Facebook, and watching the news coverage. There were several camera crews at our service yesterday, where many of us wore bow ties in Lee’s memory.
I didn’t know Lee, only met him once, but from everyone’s accounts, he was a pretty incredible man. One of his good friends posted that in addition to being impeccable in every sense of the word, Lee was present. He said that Lee had the ability to give the person with whom he was in conversation his complete attention, making it seem as if nothing and no one else mattered in that moment.
We should all aspire to Lee’s habit.
The present commands our attention, as Wm. Paul Young writes in his reflection. God yearns to spend the present with us and to celebrate whatever we’re doing in this speck of time.
Really, how difficult is it to turn a thought or a word to God? We can pray at times other than before meals or when we feel especially connected like during a meditation practice or church service.
I learned years ago and think often of Unity’s wise counsel that our thoughts are prayers.
Each time we think that very line, we acknowledge God in the present.
When someone passes from this human life, we’re gently admonished to live, to grasp every moment and cherish it as if it were our last. Let’s also remind ourselves to live fully every single day. That message was loud and clear in church this morning.
Live fully as if your life depends on it.
Nearly eight years ago I made a life-changing decision to move from Missouri to Texas. The decision was a giant leap of faith because I was moving into a completely unknown, albeit exciting, situation.
I HAD to make that move because my spirit craved a life of deep connection to every one of the 1,440 minutes in each day. In the life I was living, I was merely getting along, doing the same things as if I were a drone on remote control.
Back then, I couldn’t express the reasons why I had to leave, other than to say, I must go. Others speculated, I’m sure even gossiped. What I know now is I had to figure out a way to acknowledge, then honor every moment that God and I spend together.
It’s the trip of a lifetime–raw, real AND alive. I definitely recommend the journey.
Photo by Benjamin Davies