So, my camera fell into the river a couple weeks ago and now, it’s broken. On top of that, our internet is really acting up and not allowing me to upload images very easily. So, there goes a huge part of my blogging…
I took it as a sign to just turn the camera and the computer off for a while. And, the past few weeks have been really peaceful. Just enjoying my time with our children. Not trying to capture an image or re-cap a day in writing. Just being there. Watching them grow and change and discover.
I’m trying to intentionally be ‘here’.
(images from the archives… ha)
And, oh, I’ve lived the struggle of staying present. I’ve dropped the ball so badly it’s floated downstream and over the waterfall (like the camera). I know how all the Moms and Dads feel. I’ve lived those days. Exhaustion sets in. Selfishness wins. Distractions take over. Especially the distractions.
And don’t we live in a world full of menial tasks and stupid, time-wasting distractions? (The answer is yes, yes we do.)
Part of the reason I long so deeply to be more ‘unplugged’ is so I can ‘plug in’ to what matters. (Hence, the tag-line of this little blog.) Because I watch countless parents live on high speed, blasting through their days. The laundry, the sports team, the dinner (drive thru?), the play date, the school run, the appointments, the cleaning, the this, the that, the iphone, the email, the text message on the highway… always something to do and something to check.
I wonder though, when we’re taking our last breaths here on earth, what will we reflect upon? And we’re all going to get there. We’ll all come to the end.
I’m sure we won’t wish we’d cleaned more toilets or signed the kids up for more sports teams. Or checked more text messages, or uploaded more images on our blog or Facebook.
We will reflect upon the relationships. The times we were truly connected. The people who loved and inspired us and the people we loved and inspired. The moments and the ways our hearts grew kindred to other hearts. Love and be loved. That’s it. How did we live out God’s love?
When I come to my end, I will think of the days I was fully and totally present. Open to God’s wonder. In the moment. Bonded to the hearts around me. Because to be present means to enter in. To walk towards and then dwell in what God has for us at that very point in time. That heart, that soul, that person. Because life is really about people. Jesus’ life was about people, and so our ought to be too. This moment here, it’s a scared blip – that could last for all eternity. That could leave an impression on the hearts of our children forever. That could inspire someone to find out more about this Jesus we serve. That could lift a spirit, hug a heart, touch a soul more profoundly than we know.
But we have to be present.
We live in such a distracted, disconnected world. People, children – they are longing for someone to look them in the eyes, hold the gaze, and actually engage with them. Ask them how they are doing and truly care. Truly, really, madly – CARE.
You know what’s going to make the Christ-followers different? If we actually take the time to unplug from our devices and our hang-ups and our own lives. Unplug, so that we can actually connect and plug-in to others in a passionate, authentic way. Plug in to our children, our spouses, our neighbors, our family, even strangers.
When we choose a text message over looking around and seeing who needs a smile and a ‘hello’ – we choose to check out. We just might miss something huge.
When we choose email over coloring with our child – we miss out on a moment in time that will never return to us.
When we choose Facebook over gazing into our child’s eyes and listening to their heart – we really, really drop that ball.
And I’ve dropped it.
But I can also choose to change. And choose to cling to what I know is right. I want to live present.
No, “I wish I had of…”.
Every moment, we decide. We choose to be relationally present or we choose to turn away. In a world of beeps and bings and messages and constant contact and distractions blaring in our faces, we choose. We are not victims of technology. We are adults.
Living alive and awake to what is around us OUTSIDE of those screens is a counter-cultural choice. We decide what our lives look like and how our family, children, and friends will relate to, and remember us.
We are empowered to be the author of our relationships by how we choose to live every single day.
Every moment, a chance to either connect and be present or check out and be distracted. It truly is a matter of self-control. And aren’t we called to have that? Isn’t it a fruit of the spirit?
Fruits are grown. They are nurtured. They are ripened. One day at a time. One choice at a time.
Let’s choose to be present, and live with no regrets, friends.
Love to you all.