Step Into the Present, Day 1
In mid-October, I was hit with a bout of food poisoning or a 24-hour flu bug. I remember feeling guilty because all I could do was sleep all day, and when I was awake, the only thing I could really do was watch Netflix. My husband had to remind me that it’s okay to rest. It’s part of the healing process. Did you hear me? I felt guilty about staying in bed and sleeping when I had the flu? What’s wrong with me?
We are so wired to be givers and caretakers. We are so caught up in the lie that we must be busy to be productive that we forget to take care of ourselves. We forget that rest is equally important. We forget that rest is vital.
Ecclesiastes 3:1 says, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.”
Note the Bible doesn’t say you must do everything at once, or do everything in one season. Shoveling snow my driveway may be apt in February, but certainly not August. Swimming in the lake would be fun in June, but certainly not in January. It also is unreasonable to try and seed the earth, enjoy fully blossomed flowers, harvest your vegetables in your garden, and allow your land to lie dormant under snow all in the same season. Just like the physical seasons, it is important to pay attention to the seasons of our lives – emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and maritally.
It’s easy to want to look ahead. When I’m stuck in the doldrums of a cold January, I can’t wait for the first signs of spring. When the summer feels like it’s dragging long (which it certainly feels a bit like this in my home state), I long for the coolness of autumn. I remember when I was a kid in school during mid-April, I couldn’t wait for summer vacation, and when it was late fall, I couldn’t wait for Christmas break.
It’s easy to long for certain seasons to last longer. I’m not going to lie. Spring often feels rushed to me. Autumn feels skipped over. After New Year’s, it is nice to rest from the hustle and bustle of the holidays but then January and February can feel incredibly dull.
Does this happen in your marriage too? I look forward to many wonderful years with my husband, and rightly so. Sometimes I wish we “had it altogether” by now and we were in our own home. Sometimes I reflect back on the youthful glee and fluttering of my heart and endless conversations when we were first dating. But I’m not in the past. I’m not to the future. I’m here in the present.
It’s easy to get caught up in looking ahead or reflecting back, but you often miss out on the present as a result. There is beauty and joy and something to be grateful for in each moment in the now. This November, we will be taking the time to reflect on the things we are grateful for in our marriages and about our husbands.
After my bout of illness, I took an entire day to move slowly (which is hard for me). I purposefully did not multitask, but instead focused on whatever I happened to be doing at the moment – showering, putting on makeup, eating, reading, listening to music, etc. I can’t tell you how wonderful it felt. I was relaxed. I wasn’t stressed. I didn’t have to rush. I let go of things that weren’t important and set them aside to focus on what was right in front of me. I was actually more productive.
In our hectic world of technology, busyness, and endless activities, it can be hard to remember to be present. When we run at a mile a minute and multitask, we lose the ability to be at our full potential and to be fully present. James 4:14 reminds us, “Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”
This challenge isn’t about what great things you can do or how busy you are or how many things you’ve accomplished in a day or a week or a month. This challenge is about what God wants to do in your life and being present enough to hear His voice and direction.
Fix your eyes on what is important. Take the time to work, but also take the time to rest. Ask God to show you what it is you ought to do and to help you step into the rhythm of work and rest. Ask God to show you what’s really important in your life and the determination to focus on one task at a time. It’s harder than it seems, but remember your life is too precious to be wasted. You are like a mist, here for a moment, and gone the next. Make it count.
This November, take the time to be present. Step into the presence of the Almighty God and allow Him to speak to you and work in your life. Step into the moment with your husband giving him your full and undivided attention, free from the tether of technology and the to-do list.
Bible Verse for Meditation: “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10
Prayer: Almighty God, I praise you for your glorious presence in my life. I confess that I am not always “present” with you, and I allow myself to be distracted by technology and to-do-lists and things of this world. Lord, I thank you for the gift of breath and gift of life. I ask that you would help me to remember to be in the moment. Show me what really matters in life. Help me step into the rhythm of work and rest. Equip me with the determination to focus on one task at a time. I ask that I would see your presence and notice little things – little glimpses of your love. I also ask that you would remind me of the little things I love about my husband and that I would notice him and give our marriage the attention it deserves. In Jesus’ Name, I pray by the power of the Holy Spirit, Amen.
This is Day 1 of the 30 Dates in November Challenge 2016. Sign up here. Join us on the forums for the challenge of the day and participate in a supportive community.