Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Present and Accounted For

Margaret mentioned to me that I might enjoy Thursdays here.  I am poking around and I think I just might!

So here I am.  Present and accounted for.

That phrase just popped into my head as started to write the title of my post.  Most times the title is the last thing I do.  Who knows where I'll end up when I start?  And if I do put the title in first, it often has to change.  But in this case I'm pretty sure it will not.

When I think of being present, as in present in the moment, I am reminded of times that we took pictures or video of events in our lives - to the extent that we missed the real action!  The event was viewed through a small viewfinder or little screen on the back of a camera, not in full, real life.  I remember there came a time when neither my husband nor I wanted to be the one recording the events.  We didn't want to miss it in real life!

Or it's like the photographer at a wedding with "posed pictures" of bride and groom, and wedding party.  The photographer is there, but isn't really present at the wedding, not a family or friend -   The photographer doesn't have to be present at the wedding to enjoy it - that's why we hire them!  Everyone else wants to be present to enjoy the event.

And as an aside, in the shots the photographer takes, no one really seems present!  Oh, yes, they are there.  But are they doing anything?  What are they thinking about?  Are they noticing their surroundings or the happiness of the occasion or are they just trying to stand where they are told and look happy?  Are they hoping this will hurry along so they can get to the next phase - food and dancing?
Posed and through a viewfinder... I guess you could call those photo shoots "present tense" (lol!).  The people may be physically present, but it's not where their minds are.

Present means being there in the moment.  Present means the gift you give yourself when you are present.  Viewing the recording later is not being present at the event.  We realized that after shooting video of dance recitals and birthday parties, that we'd really missed the "whole".  Yes, you are focused, but you missed out on the surroundings outside of the viewfinder, the noises, the air, the whole "taste" of the experience.  Oh, and another aside, but kind of important... all our videos were destroyed with time, flooded basement and fire... so now what do we have?  Small images in our minds - images through a viewfinder, not the grand stage.

Being present with God is akin to setting the camera aside.  It's not just reading the Bible.  It's not just singing a hymn.  It's not just saying "Praise the Lord."  BTW what in the world does that mean?  Well, are you going to praise him or not?  That's like saying "Say something to the Lord."  But you never say it.   What was the praise going to be about?  So, SAY something to the Lord.  Be present with Him.

Don't just take pictures and video.  Put the camera down.  Notice His world.  Listen to Him.  Breathe.  Talk to Him - don't just talk ABOUT talking to Him.

If you think I am talking to you, you are wrong.  I am talking to me.

The word present - and the accompanying "accounted for" in my title, directly implies my relationship with God, with the church, and life.  I want to be present and accounted for when that roll is called.  I am present and accounted for.  What a wonderful thing!

And when we know that, we can be oh, so much more present and accounted for in the rest of our lives.  I am so much more free to live joyfully and notice the world around me.  It won't be mine forever.  I don't want to look through a viewfinder or watch the recording of life.  I want to live it to its fullest, because I am in the presence of God, as He is present with me always.  God is omnipresent.

Thank you for sharing your OLW, Margaret, and sending me this way to be present and accounted for this week!

A quick poem...


The present is the present
The future is not here
The present is the time that's now
Not what was yesteryear.

The present is the sights and sounds
The present - touch and taste
The present is where life abounds
Not time that's laid to waste.

Though being present may be hard
With hurts and groans of grief
Remember there is still our God
Who brings our souls relief

Don't try to run back to the past
You can't overtake the future
Look around and be content
And God will make you richer

Take care of what God wants you to
And He will do the rest
Be watchful and attentive
And He'll be sure you're blessed

Only when you heed the now
Keep watch for little things
Can you know the joyfulness
That God's present, Heaven, brings.

By Donna JT Smith

1 comment:

  1. I love the idea of being present with God. Can't tell you how many mornings, including this morning, that I have opened my Bible, spent time in the Word, and yet not really been there.


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