Life is full of ups and downs, demands and deadlines, responsibilities and decisions. All of these realities are magnified in the life of a leader. Work, life, ministry, and relationships press in on us as we move from one thing to the next.
We check one item off our To-Do List, run one errand, take one child to a sporting practice, complete one homework assignment, attend one meeting, wouldn’t miss one class at the gym, or one coffee break with a friend, and the list goes on and on.
We are busy. Everything is chaotic. We are either looking behind with regret or ahead with great anticipation, yet we cannot possibly be our best selves without evaluating where we are right now.
Matthew reads “do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?” For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them…Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own (Matthew 6:31-32, 34).”
Presence is what we are missing: Presence for today, this hour, this moment, this conversation, this relationship. Presence is being right here, right now and no place else.
Presence is not thinking about what you have to do later in the day. It is not sneaking a glimpse at your cell phone or watch. It is certainly not texting, checking mail, or voicemails in the middle of our conversation, our meeting, or our meal.
Presence is bringing you, all of you to the table to ask the right questions and listening effectively to what is being said or not said. Presence means that you do not have to assume control of all situations. You do not have to have all of the answers. Listen; there are other answers out there.
When reflecting on the idea of presence and my need for presence this week, it dawned on me that maybe we do not consistently ‘show up’ physically, emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually in our relationships is because we have lost the desire to show up with God.
After all even, the God-Man, Jesus himself, took moments to go off and spend time in prayer and isolation with his Heavenly Father.
Being present humbles me before the Lord where I am reminded, “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present [my] requests to God [knowing and trusting that] the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard [my heart] and [my mind] in Christ Jesus (Phil. 4:6-7).”
In his presence, I can pray like David, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting (Psalm 139:23-24).”
Being present with God is my heart’s longing. Being present with God gives proper perspective so that I can respond accordingly to the other relationships and in the other areas of my life. In his presence, God will lead, answer, and direct. This is the daily bread that I need. Oh, to be in his presence. Are you there?
You May Also Like:
© Natasha S. Robinson 2011