How can I work on being more present to God and being more present to others?
Do they still call roll in high school in the States, with the teacher opening the home room class period by murmuring through a list of first and last names, mispronouncing some of them, after each of which a teen shouts “present”?
Present…Presence… together in the here and now. In the increasingly fragmented world we live in, popular psychology is full of counsel to all of us to “stay more in the here and now”.
Really, where else could we stay? Our past is gone but in memory, and our future does not exist but in dreams. Memories and dreams can be immensely important and are a huge part of each of us! I don’t agree with the people who say, “All we have is the present”. That’s not true unless we happen to be a baby in utero, or one newborn, or someone on their deathbed. What an immensely valuable gift from God are both our memories and our dreams for our futures!
So much of God’s Word seems to be written in present tense! Psalm 23 says, “He leads me beside the still waters; He restores my soul.” Not, “He led me, last October 29th.” Or, “Once, a long time ago, I had a wonderful one-time experience of God restoring my soul – I remember it as if it were yesterday!”
In Acts 2:28, Peter (quoting the Psalmist) says, “You, God, make known to me the way of life. You enrapture me, diffusing my soul with joy, with and in Your Presence.” (AMP)