How does one become “purposefully present
” in a digital age where technology is one of the main sources of how people work, play and communicate these days? As for myself, in order to accomplish that objective, it’s taken tons of prayer to learn how to guard my heart above all else, as Proverbs says, knowing it is the wellspring of life! Personally, this means making the commitment to eradicate some things in order to give people my full, undivided attention! And in my search for answers, I have found that focused intentionality is the only route for me towards becoming distraction-free and purposefully present
Upcoming, my husband is participating with a local church in airing a recently released film called “Screenagers
” about how distracted adolescents are these days. It is a disturbing documentary (to say the least) because it shows how much attention the youth especially, as well as all of society in general, spend on computers as opposed to communicating. We need to regain relationships back! But the change has to first begin with us, Moms & Dads! Just like our Heavenly Father, in His ever-present omniscience, sought after us with an active love, we parents, in turn, must do the same for our children by seeking after them the same way! It is imperative that we set the precedent for this next generation and model for them what it truly looks like to be purposefully present
Truthfully, the only way for me to get serious about serving the Lord with such spiritual fervor is to take extreme measures! In this obstacle course called life, I’ve cried out to the Lord repetitively for Him to grant me His divine power and wisdom so I can choose the best way to spend my time! Thankfully, when I too have been preoccupied, God’s grace and strength always seem to bring me back to the first commandment of loving Him and loving my neighbor as myself by giving my time to both (in that order) during my sojourn upon this earth! His Spirit continues to remind me of the brevity of life and why it is vital that I remain undistracted in my mission here.
This Thanksgiving season and beyond, regardless of where you’re at on your personal pilgrimage upon the planet, my plea is that you’d reunite with God’s perfect will to be purposefully present today! For, even in the darkest and most desolate of times, when we abide in the Lord, we discover His presence is paramount! Jesus’ sweet Spirit teaches us how to slow down and pause long enough to relish in the relationships around us. And subsequently, He surprises us with the simple things that were hidden in PLAIN SIGHT all along… like how a meaningful, romantic stare into our spouse’s eyes brings with it mutual endearment. Or when we secretly study our children’s features and expressions with delight, we receive immense joy into our hearts and smiles upon our faces. Or how about those times we show a fondness for a family member or friend’s stories? It often leads us to closer companionship with them! The point here is unmistakable: fully present equals fully gratified! When we are deliberate about resting in each other’s company with the intention to contribute towards someone else’s betterment, in return we can experience such merriment!
Unfortunately, without slowing down to a gingerly, gentle stroll in our walks with the Lord and others, we have the propensity to pass up what’s most important around us for a hurried, result-oriented, self-centered stride. That’s when we miss the laughs, the cries and those special intimate moments of fellowship. So, let’s do it differently moving forward! But how? Immediately Parents, with urgency and importance, put the phones away, turn the TVs off, shut down the laptops, tablets, Ipads and other gadgets which steal precious time from us- time we’ll never get back! In their place, let’s give generously of ourselves – our whole selves – in the form of affection, attention, encouragement, comfort, and support which lead to Christ-centered camaraderie within our homes and communities! Total submersion in the Father’s presence, knowing He is Emmanuel; “God with us“, will perpetually promote in us a proactive position to pray, plan and prioritize becoming purposefully present!