The theme of the conference we were at was “Be Present”. Heading off to it, I didn’t have many thoughts surrounding what context this meant. I assumed it probably had something to do with being a force within your church or community.
This message would end up being so profound in my life. It was so important that the Lord asked us to leave our baby, flying hundreds of miles across North America to attend two-thirds of a conference, and rush back for my friend’s wedding, just to hear this.
Often times in ministry, our personal lives, our careers, etc we are so engrossed with the next step we miss what is happening now. I can tell you a lot of the verses in the bible that surround vision or the plans the Lord has for our lives, but I miss the whole part about what the Lord is doing NOW. I miss the “be still and know” verses. My life becomes consumed with the next step.
I think a lot about what I’ll do once I have two or three children, instead of soaking up every bit of my joyful time with one.
Now, take this message in balance. I’m a huge believer in walking out the vision God has given you, and I know the positive momentum vision adds to our lives. But this is the key: we miss out on truly loving God and people when we are not engaged in the now.
When I was a little girl, I dreamed about how wonderful it would be to be married one day and to have a baby. I would take care of my cabbage patch baby boy named Tommy, and lather him with love and affection, “practicing” for my own little boy one day.
Well believe it or not, “one day” has come and I have a little boy. Wasn’t it just the other day I pushed Tommy in a miniature stroller? The next stage of life will slip away as quickly as the first and I want to take the time to stop and drink in every bit of what’s going on. I want to give God the glory for what he’s doing in my life now. I don’t want anyone to ever think I was too distracted to care for them.
This verse in Proverbs 21:1 illustrates how our lives as leaders should be in the hands of Lord.
The king’s heart is like a stream of water directed by the Lord; he guides it wherever he pleases.
Streams follow the watercourse given to them. We don’t need to worry about the next step when we simply glide like calm waters through down the path the Lord has carved. Sometimes we might plummet down a waterfall and wonder what the Lord is doing, but in the end our stream will go exactly where He designed it to.
Do you find it hard to stay engaged with the present? Are you constantly looking to the future in an unbalanced way?