You’ve seen it many times—a room full of people, heads down, silent, looking at their screens.
It happens in conference rooms, classrooms, family rooms, and even in church buildings.
Our bodies are present, but our minds are somewhere else.
This phenomenon happens a lot, even without the help of screens.
There’s a time and place for being alone, being quiet, and just letting our brain process stuff.
But there’s also a time to be present.
What does that mean, “being present”?
It means fully engaging your mind, body, and soul in the moment you’re living.
Is being present hard for you? (After living the last 10-odd years in iPhonelandia, it’s harder for me than it used to be.)
Being present requires effort.
- You have to pay attention to your surroundings and respond to what’s going on around you.
- You likely have to make conversation with other people.
- You’re probably going to feel emotions, welcome or unwelcome.
Sometimes it’s easier to just mentally check out, ignore the room, and retreat into a self-made bubble. Ah, a comfy, climate-controlled environment that requires nothing of me…perfection.
But this is the Christmas season.
Time for family and friends. Time for our brothers and sisters in Christ. Time for Jesus Himself.
Would you agree with me that these are the times when it’s important to be present?
When I’m with someone, and I can tell they are fully present with me—engaged, interested, empathizing—and enjoying it…WOW! What a gift that is.
If you were one of the people who was at my house a couple of Saturdays back, sitting around my kitchen table, talking till midnight, (you know who you are) then, whether you realize it or not, you gave me a gift. The gift of your presence. Not just your body, but your mind, soul, and heart. Thank you. I treasure these times more than any gift that can be wrapped and placed under a tree.
And want to know another thing?
When we give the gift of being present, we model our Savior Jesus Christ.
He left His throne on high, was born on Earth, suffered in the flesh…all so that He could be present with us.
What a gift.
He came into our presence, listened to us, taught us, empathized with us, served us…with His body, mind, and soul, showing us how.
Even when Jesus had to leave us, He sent the Holy Spirit so that He’d never have to leave those who believe.
This weekend, we’ll all get the chance to follow in the footsteps of Jesus by being fully present with those we love most.
The gift of your undivided attention and affection may just be the best thing someone receives on Saturday.
On the other hand, not everyone valued the gift of Jesus’s presence on Earth. It’s possible that your loved ones will undervalue the gift of your presence, too, not reciprocating or even acknowledging your effort. But, like Jesus did, give the gift anyway.
As you do this, may the Lord fill you with the gift of His presence through the Holy Spirit until your cup overflows with joy!
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.