About 3 years ago, I decided to celebrate my birthday by having a bowling party and then returning to my home to have a few family members and friends over for dinner and game night. While bowling with the people who were present, I continued to look for one of my friends who had not yet arrived. I continued to call this friend to see where she was and to let her know that we would probably be moving to the next place for the celebration. She assured me that she would arrive soon…but it didn’t happen.
Why am I sharing this at this point? As we prepare for the holiday season and begin to shop for presents, might I remind you that your presence is often a whole lot more important to people than the presents you shop for! What I realized that day was my friends’ presence was a lot more essential to me than the present she had spent the entire afternoon looking for to give me. Why do we not understand that our presence is so much more valuable than anything we could pay for with money?
How often are we actually present to our family and friends? How often are we even present to ourselves? How often are we willing to put things on hold to simply sit with others for conversation or the ministry of presence without words? How often are we willing to put a project, a task, a ______________ (you fill in the blank) to be present to ourselves and practice self-care? How often do we look forward to the presence of the Lord? Or, do we have the privilege of the Lord’s presence just manifesting itself whether we are actually looking for him or not?
As I began to write this blog, I realized this is often how we look at our relationship with the Lord. We are constantly looking for what the Lord is going to give us; what the Lord is going to do for us; how we are going to be blessed by the Lord, even though we haven’t set any time aside to just hang out and listen for him!
Today, I invite you to consider on this Cyber Monday whether presents or presence is what you are searching for. I’m not trying to be a buzz killer and slow down anyone’s momentum as they shop for gifts or presents. I simply want to invite you, in this season of Advent, to seek presence AND presents, if the presents are a must. Someone in your life really needs you to be present to them. If the truth be told, you have wished that someone would be more present to you. I promise you, life will be much richer if we were to not only seek presents, but seek the presence of our loving God! It is richer also when we are intentional about being present to the people we profess to love and care about.
Focus Scripture Psalm 89:15 NIV ~ Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you, who walk in the light of your presence, Lord.
Take good care of you!