How to Be Present Where You Are

Picture this: I’m visiting a friend whom I haven’t seen in years.

We’ve been able to stay in touch on the phone and by email. I’m traveling through her hometown and we meet for lunch. We hug, squeal, exchange “oh you look so good” comments, and then order our lunch. As we eat, we catch up on our kids and lives.

After the first frenzy of conversation, she’s less chatty. She doesn’t answer my questions very quickly. She seems so distracted. Our conversation loses its rhythm.

Then she says something about someone she’s following on Twitter, and I think, “Where in the world did that come from? I don’t even know who she’s talking about.”
Soon after that, I hear her cell phone ping and then she’s quiet.

I want to be present where I am. I want to be fully engaged in each moment.
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I ask her another question and she struggles to answer. She’s doing the “uh-huh” as if I’ve interrupted her and then it hits me… I am interrupting her!!

She has been on her phone since the server put our chicken wraps in front of us!

I just couldn’t see what was going on because I am blind. But girl, I could sense it! Her body may have been in a quaint eatery with an old friend, but her mind and heart were a million other places all at once.

She was not present where she was.

I want to focus on the person right beside me not worry about the future or text someone miles away.
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Has that ever happened to you? Or, dare I ask… have you ever done that? No need to answer …

I’m not upset with my friend and I’m not saying I’ve never done it — I have. I’m just sharing it with you because of what it represents.

Are you fully present where you are?

Being present where we are means focusing on the people, place, and purpose right here and now.
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I’m trying to be present where I am. And, I don’t just mean when it comes to handheld electronics like phones and iPads. What I mean is that I’m really trying to be fully engaged in each moment — not worrying about the future, pondering my past, or texting someone miles away while ignoring the person right beside me!! (Do I hear an “Ouch or an Amen?!”)

Ouch! Amen!

Being present where we are means we focus on the people, place, and purpose of the right now and the right here.

This life on earth should include some holy tension… an awareness that you are torn between two worlds.
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But, here’s the rub — I often have trouble being present where I am and it has nothing to do with my cell phone and everything to do with my heart.

Surprised? Curious?

Okay, let me explain… God designed us to feel some holy discontent, in a spiritual sense, and it should be hard to feel fully present where we are while we are here on earth!

This life here on earth – no matter how wonderful it is — should include some holy tension… an awareness that you are torn between two worlds.

There’s a reason we feel this way.

When “God raised us up with Christ,” He also “seated us with Him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus.” (Ephesians 2:6)

My feet are on earth, but I am seated in heavenly places. Let my heart and thoughts lift to my Father.
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Get it? While your feet are still here on earth, you are seated in heavenly places! Yeah, you multi-tasker you!

While we’re here, sisters, let’s be present where we are. Let’s enjoy this journey.

Let’s live, love, laugh, and learn — give it all we’ve got. But at the same time, let’s press into that holy discontent when we feel it. Let our heart and thoughts lift to our Father and our rightful home. And as we do, it will help us be fully present and invite God’s full presence into our everyday moments.

I want to be fully present and invite God’s full presence into my everyday moments.
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So, until we get the “change of address” labels made, let’s walk wisely, yet tread lightly on this sod, growing our roots deep into God and His Kingdom rather than the shallow soil of success or stuff.

Let’s keep our hands ministering here on earth while our hearts meditate on heaven.

God put us here to live in this world, feel its pain, cry its tears, meet its needs, and breathe its air.

We can be present here where we are, but at the same time, live out our heavenly citizenship!

Okay? Go for it sisters!

Question: In what area of your life do you struggle with being fully present?

Go deeper into this week's question in my Bible Study Bistro Facebook group. There's a community of 4:13ers waiting for you!