There are many gifts you can give someone, but your presence may be the greatest gift. To enjoy the company of another person – conversation, connection, relationship, face-to-face, eye-to-eye – the mutual sharing of a unique moment in time. While there have always been things that compete for these moments, the competition seems to have intensified.
With mobile devices having attained the official status of a body part, they continually remind us, alarm us, measure us, amuse us, talk to us and beg us to pay more attention to them than to the person we are with. Email, texts, calls, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, to name a few, challenge us to attempt the impossible: to be in two or more places at once!
This tug of war draws our minds, energies, and emotions to other people, other times, and other places in a virtual out of body experience. The practice is usually politely tolerated (since we’re all addicts), but the actual messaging is rather pathetic: “I’d rather be there” – “Look at what they are doing!” – “This is way more important than you.” With head and eyes down, our posture reveals our preference and priority.
Your presence – your full presence – is a gift worth giving over and over to whomever you are with. So wrap it up and give it away!
Now, consider the incredible gift of God’s Presence. God with us – His Son. God in us – His Spirit. And consider His messaging: “Come to Me” (Matt 11:28); “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Heb 13:5); “I am with you always” (Matt 28:20); “In that day, you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you” (John 14:20); “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you” (Matt 7:7).
Near. Here. Intimate. Available. Accessible. Focused. Engaged. Heart-to-heart. His very Name declares it! “Yahweh.” “I am.” Not I was or I will be, but I AM. Not past or future, but present.
Beware. Our digital training can influence even our conversations with God. In His Presence, our hearts and minds are often divided and distracted. Our focus is blurred by all that we have pressing on us. Our time is minimized because our to-do list is exceedingly long. Looking up into the eyes of God is very hard to do when the eyes of our hearts are drawn downward – elsewhere.
The remedy is found in this simple invitation: “Be still and know that I am God“ (Psalm 46:10 ESV). Literally, “Cease striving and know that I am God.” Be fully present. Be here, not there. After all, God’s Presence is found in the present!
You will make known to me the path of life; In Your Presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever. Psalm 16:11 NASB
Spread the Word!
© 2015 Tim McKenzie
On Every Word Ministries