Here I am: Learning to be Present

A drive to the laundromat. A no phone dinner, where whoever flipped over their phone from the pile in the center of the table had to pay. Sitting at a bonfire with my friends. In all of these places, as the last weeks of our summer were fast approaching, my friend asked us a question.

“What has God taught you this summer?” 

For me, I was learning to be present. To be here. 

I knew after training that leaving camp would be hard. The people I met were already becoming my friends and learning about how to share the Gospel was incredible. I worried about missing out on things and wanting to be with everyone because I knew my time was limited. 

One of the speakers we had at camp said it well. He explained when he was dancing, he was always anticipating the music ending. But waiting for the song to end was not the point. We have to remember to enjoy the dance. 

Being present can also be applied to a “get to do” list. It’s a phrase one of our guides coined when I was hiking on North Manitou island. Creating a “get to do” list reminds us to be aware of opportunities we should be thankful for. Studying for a test to further your education, exercising to stay healthy, or working to help someone out are all examples of tasks we write on our “get to do” lists. When we look at tasks as an opportunity instead of a chore, we can start to realize the purpose behind everything and glorify Him through thanksgiving. 

On my last day at camp, my old counselor said a prayer for us before leaving. She talked about being in the moment, present, right here, feeling your feet on the floor. She challenged us to breath in this moment and remember that God was working. Don’t miss a moment and don’t miss God being in it with you. 

This is something I had to work on this summer, but it made everything better. It brought me gratitude and peace. I know this year I’ll be looking toward the future. Internships, graduation, jobs. It all moves so fast! But we have to take a breath, feel where our feet are, and know the Lord is good. He is present too. 

One Comment

  • Linda Wink

    I missed this reflection in Aug. so I’m catching up. What a great message. Yoga teaches being present also. It’s very hard to do sometime, because for me, I’m always thinking what can I get done next. It is so important to “just breathe” and take a moment to be still and appreciate everything you have. Thanks once again for you beautiful words.
    Love and kisses Nana

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