In our hectic, often frenetic lives, I think we’re often trying to always be present everywhere. That’s the allure of electronic media – people separated by time and space can be connected. And it can be really cool.
In our efforts to be present everywhere all the time, the practical results are that we’re never really present anywhere. Sure, our bodies are somewhere. But our affections are in another place. Our minds are distracted. Our hearts are spread thin.
- We live in the past.
- We live in the future.
- We wish our lives were more like our neighbors.
- But we’re not present – really present – anywhere, any time.
Always be Present
There’s a better way. Sure, it’s hard. It’s counter-cultural. But it can change your life and your family.
Here it is: be where you are.
Don’t spend your life trying to be somewhere you aren’t. Don’t be bound by the past but by the same token, don’t live in the past. Don’t spend your life hoping for a better future, while ignoring the life you have right now. Don’t spend your life focused so much on a destination that you miss the journey. Don’t ignore those around you to pay attention to others who aren’t around.
That’s a lot of “don’t,” so here are some things to do.
Try an Experiment
Just try it for one day. Or, if that’s too much, try it for an evening. But try it.
Turn off your favorite distractions and go somewhere or do something together with other people (I recommend your family if you have one.) Here are just a few suggestions. If you don’t like mine, make up your own. But don’t spend a lot of time on it. Focus on doing something.
First, turn off
- Turn off the cell phone
- Turn off the computer
- Turn off the TV
Then, do something
- Go to a park
- Go for a walk
- Go to the mall together
- Go camping
- Take an evening in with the family
- Do popcorn and a movie (at home)
- Go out to dinner (or lunch)
- Have a picnic
- Grill some cheap burgers and eat together
- Have a family meal
Will you do it?
Will you develop the discipline to be where you are, always present?