Have you ever been talking to someone who really wasn't paying attention? They may have been saying "yeah" or nodding their head but you knew they had no clue what you were saying. Have you ever been with your family, at a sports event or even at church just to leave and not feel like you really connected with anyone?
One of the disciplines in life that isn't often talked about is "being present." I define being present as fully engaged in the present moment. It's listening to someone talk and not thinking in your head what you are going to say next. It's listening to someone talk and not trying to listen to all of the other conversations around you. It's being fully engaged.
Being present is a powerful experience yet if you are like me, it's a struggle. I have been wondering lately why that is? Why do many of us struggle with being present whether its at work, at home, with friends etc. A few thoughts that I had were busyness, lack of sleep and discontentment. All three of these cause us to not be present and never fully engage in life. If we look deep enough under the first two we may find roots of dicontentment in them.
Philippians 4:11 I've learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances
In this verse Paul is talking about external circumstances like money, having a place to lay his head etc. However, I think contentment is one of the keys to being present. When I'm content I don't feel the need to be doing something else. When I'm content I don't feel the need to try to be someone else. I don't feel the need to pack my schedule so full that I don't have time to think or even pray. I have nothing to prove to others. I can be present and enjoy it.
On a scale 1-10 (10 being the best) how would you rate yourself at being present (fully engaged) in life? Do you relate to any of the 3 barriers to being present? Pause and take a few moments to see if discontentment is a root. Spend some time thanking God for who you are, what He has done in Your life and what He has blessed you with. Ask Him to help you be present in every situation you encounter today.