Being Present to Realities, Possibilities, and Peace

Here we are in this moment. This one moment. This one place. This one experience. This may be the last place we ever considered being. The last we’ve wanted to be. It may be the realization of our dreams. Whatever it is, it’s where we are. Our options are to be here, fully present, or to distract ourselves with whatever we invent as the reason we couldn’t possibly pay attention to just this moment.

I feel as if I live in a world of constant distraction. Even my writing, which needs a fair amount of presence and is my deepest passion, is easily pushed to the side by incoming stimulus. Heavens, I write on a machine that is constantly providing opportunities to stop thinking and to stop being with my subject matter.

In my job as a chaplain, which you would think is all about the luxury of conversations of the heart, I’m often multitasking. While sitting with a Patient or a Beloved who is facing one of life’s most intimate moments, when we’re searching for ways to introduce Grace into our spiritual exchange, I’m at the mercy of my pager which can call me to the Trauma Bay with just a couple moments’ notice. 

I work daily to make place for presence. To take moments and sometimes longer to simply be in the moment or a conversation. During the summers, when I’m either in the pool or the lake, I deliberately do not count numbers of laps, I just focus on my next steps, my sense of movement, the warmth of the sun, and the coolness of the water. I let myself be in the heaven of it all with no distractions.

People, places, actions: They deserve our attention. It’s not easy to be present, so make an exercise out of it. Try it for just a couple minutes a day and then stretch it. Then let it grow in to a guilty pleasure where you simply stop on your way to somewhere and breathe in the Beauty. Or, thinking about my chaplaincy, the pain. Life can be hard. We have to be present to that as well. We have responsibilities. Make them moments of presence. Make them moments of Peace

Choose showing up and being part of the moments we’re offered in life. There is so much Peace in this very moment. Show up for it. Show up for all of them. And watch Peace happen…

Salaam, Shalom, Peace. Blessed be.