Thursday, September 17, 2015

"Wherever you are, be all there."

Three weeks into the September and summertime boredom is a distant memory at the Sandlin household. The boxes on our calendar aren’t big enough to write in all we have to do each day. Carpooling, lunch making, and homework checking have filled up our schedule. It’s easy to wish we could somehow go back to simpler days or fast forward to some future, imagined season of peace. We know all too well, however, that life can’t be lived in any moment but the present.

I am reminded once again that our lives tend to occur in seasons. Some seasons of life, it’s all you can do to simply keep up. During other seasons you find yourself wishing for more to do. Whatever season of life we happen to find ourselves in, we have a tendency to quickly wish that we were somewhere else. One of the greatest lessons of life is to learn to be present wherever you happen to be.

The missionary Jim Elliot once said, “Wherever you are, be all there.” I like that even if I struggle to live it. One thing that has helped me learn to live it a little better in the present is to ask myself at the end of each day, “Where did I most sense God’s presence today?” And also, “Where did I struggle to be aware of God’s presence today?” The difference often has to do with whether or not I am living in the present season or attempting to fast forward (or rewind!) to some other place.

Is your life hectic? Learn to find God in the chaos. Is your life a bore? Learn to find God in the slowness. Wherever we are, God is there, too. We can find him if we look. To see him, though, we have stop gazing at the place we wish we were and start looking carefully at where we are.  

“The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything” - Philippians 4:5-6.
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Extra Reading:
  • The Virtue of Patience – Looking for a deeper study on the Christian virtue of patience? Try this online Bible study from Christianity Today.
  • The Cure for Impatience: Gratitude – I always love it when secular authors stumble onto biblical truth. Jessica Stillman writes for Inc. magazine about the connection between gratitude and patience.