“No moment is trivial since each one contains a divine kingdom, and heavenly sustenance.” – -J.P. de Caussade
When flipping through Greg Boyd’s book Present Perfect I was immediately drawn to the title of this chapter, Being Present. We live in a day where our situational awareness seems to be at an all time low while our “connectedness” is at an all time high. We carry the world in our pockets and often the concern of everyone but who we’re with. God is in the moment and to dismiss moments is to dismiss God. To miss His story, His purpose and His opportunities for you. We desperately need to slow down from light speed to frame by frame because, as the ATT commerical says, “Any second could be the second.”
Greg opens with the recounting of is favorite play, Our Town. It’s the story of a young girl who dies giving birth and finds out she will be allowed to relive any one day of her life. She chooses her twelfth birthday.
Getting this one day back Emily is overwhelmed by the beauty of everything but also by the pain of how it is disregarded by the living. She yearns for but a moment with her mother, but to no avail, her mother is “busy.” Busy with what? Most likely some imitation of life.
We must realize life while we live it.
The chapter moves to discuss the incarnation of Christ as something that the early Christians understood not as a “once upon a time” but an act that continues on in the present and to the future. We carry Christ with us as we set ourselves aside to enter into the lives of others just as God himself lay down his own life for ours.
Greg then goes into some practical exercises and examples of how it could look to be present in the presence of others and the value of living intentional moments. From riding the bus to being helped at the check-out these moments surround us, opportunities limitless, our task? To see people. Really see them. As Christ did.
When Jesus looked at the world he was able to see past judgment and into the lives of people who needed him. People who were broken and who hurt because of it. People who were once little children and who still need a Father.
Being Present calls us to not just look but see what’s around us. To be intentional with the time God’s presented with us, not just as a lifetime but with the seconds that make up that lifetime. To realize now what God’s up to today.