“Being fully present” is often difficult for me. My mind races a mile a minute, my “to do” list is always too long and when I am in the midst of a task, I am often thinking of what else I need to get done or things I have forgotten.
Instinctively, I understand that this is not a good way to live and be. I have read all the right books and articles about focusing, being present to the moment and taking time off in order to be more productive. Intellectually I get it. I am just not that good at making it real in my life and spirit.
So I ran across this quote from Elizabeth Yates:
“To be fully present where we are, to be fully keyed to what we are doing, frees us from servitude to the past and the harassment of the future. This day, this moment of time, is all that has been given us, all that really concerns us. To embrace it as we do the light that reveals it is to respond to its needs, its duties, and its possibilities.”
I am very sure I had not thought about being fully present in this way before. I had not thought about being “freed” from the stuff that drags me down from the past (mistakes, undone tasks and forgotten details.) I had not considered being freed from the future nagging me to do more in order to have whatever it is I might want in the future by being more productive or busy.
I have thought about being mindful of what this day and this moment is giving me and the opportunities I might waste when I don’t pay attention to this time and place and space. So I paused for a moment to think of what I might miss if I am not living purposefully right now.
I might miss a beautiful sunrise or sunset like this one I caught the other day:
Or a lovely walk with my spouse and not being preoccupied, or a conversation where I listen, really listen.
Today, I intend to be fully present where I am, with the people I am honored to be with and to pay attention to how God maybe speaking to me, not from the past or from the future, but in this moment. With that in mind, I am graced to serve.