Lately, I have realized how often I will be watching something on TV, with my laptop in my lap and my phone within arms reach or I am texting with a friend and ordering something from Amazon at the same time. I am not fully present to any of the mediums where I am connected. Then there is the dinner table or having coffee with a dear friend and the temptation to want to read that text, check my Instagram, or answer a phone call. It can all wait. I do know how to be present. I don’t have to try to be in 3 places at once.
On my About page of my blog, I talk about offering some ingredients for a Love feast. I believe that being present is a very important ingredient. What does it mean to be present? or is the question, ” What does it mean to be fully present?” Even before we had an abundance of technology, we could be daydreaming and wandering off in our minds while we were supposedly engaged with someone we love. I think that I do need to say “to be fully present” body, mind, and soul. Most people know how to “show up,” but not everyone even wants to be fully there. I have found that to be fully present wherever I go is energizing. Constant juggling ie Busy seems to be a badge of honor. Reminds me of the bumper sticker, “Jesus is coming back, look busy.”
So let’s get back to answering the question: What does it mean to be fully present? It means I am all there. You have my full attention. I am yours. When we talk about this in the context of love we do want to be there – body, mind, and soul. Let’s look at it through the lens of parental love. Childhood calls for a sacrificial love on the part of the parents. In the growing up years we need to laid down our lives in order to raise these dear ones up and for me, I was happy to do it. Of course, I made lots of mistakes and I wasn’t always fully present. Children are explorers, curious, and ready to learn but they need guidance and protection. They need a navigator to help them get through these exploration without running into serious danger. Of course, children are going to get hurt but by being there as their guide and paying careful attention to what they are doing, we have the distinct honor and joy of watching a baby finding your face and smile and later discover their hands and feet, a toddler learning to talk and walk, and a young child learning to read. Unless we are fully present, we will miss these milestones.
Holding a little guy in my lap after his nap reminded me of holding one of my own children after her nap. I was just there, fully present, not needing to do anything else but just to cuddle with this little one left in my care. This is nurturing a child. The simple act of lovingly holding him, knowing that this is not a waste of my time, but bringing food to the feast, by simply being fully present. As a daughter of my Abba Father, I found myself climbing up the rocks overlooking the ocean sitting down and resting in His presence, in the same way that this little guy climbed up into my lap and rested on me.