Sitting in a local Starbucks writing an article about listening and how multi-tasking and the constant drone of noise bombards our auditory sensibilities. I am aware of the Muzak on the speakers over head, the banter among employees and the dings, bing's and chimes of my iPhone beside me. Oops - what’s that? I have just been offered an espresso shot - gratis! Can’t let that pass by....
I can see how all things are combining to fight for my attention, if even subconsciously, the bombardment of my environment sets me into a forced multi-tasking. Can’t elude blame myself as I seem particularly undisciplined at the moment. Silence is certainly extinct here. However as I pause, I become even more aware of what is around me. It is Heart (the classic rock band) that is playing over the speakers, I am aware of the click of high heals, the squish of sneakers, the fragrance of coffee wafting through the air mixed with the fragrant adornments of the patrons that come in and out. I become acutely aware of conversations around me - oops - I shouldn't eavesdrop! I am aware of hushed voices, and oh, there is a gregarious laugh. I am aware of the harsh light, the temperature and the feel of my corduroy shirts and my denim pants. I am aware of the movements, newspapers ruffling in the breeze of the open door, the speed of someone late for work, the silly walk of a child and the deliberate stride of a mom with child in tow.
In it all, I become acutely aware of the life all around me and even with its frenetic activity there is beauty and wonder in it. Deeper still, I am aware of myself, my breathing, a bit of tenseness in my neck and deeper still, I am aware of my expectation and fascination with God within it all. It is here that I feel most at home, it is here that I experience a deep sense of peace in the midst of what seems like a storm of activity and noise and strangely, the awareness of the presence of God brings a sense of the sacredness of it all, to one place, in Him.
This is a brief demonstration of learning to become more present. In becoming aware of what is around me, I can accept them, identify them and then let them pass on by. It is really the art of paying attention and learning to do so in the day to day of a busy, noisy North American culture.
The challenge and the beauty of learning to be present in the moment is that so many of us live either in the past or in the future, forgetting that God walks with us in each moment and while He was there in the past and will be there in the future, He is here now. This is a gift, the gift of God now - the embodiment of “give us today our daily bread.” The bread of life. Unfortunately, many of us search for God in the past and see only His tracks and search for Him in our future and miss Him in the here and now. It is in the here and now we find rest, it is in the here and now relationship is cultivated. It is in the present moment that God chooses to be experientially known.
I would encourage you to practice the present presence of the Father. To take time daily to stop and reflect upon the present moment - what you hear, see, feel, what you feel like inside, aware of your emotions, thoughts and the ways in which God is present in that moment and simply receive it with gratitude along with its gift of peace and love.
You will be pleasantly encouraged how this practice brings new life, Kingdom life to your day today and will enrich your relationship with Jesus.