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Past, Present, and Future pt. 3 – Be Here Now.

20 May Spiritual Formation | Comments Off on Past, Present, and Future pt. 3 – Be Here Now.
Past, Present, and Future pt. 3 – Be Here Now.
 

Editor’s Note: Today is part 3of a 3 part series by Ben Myers. To read the first part of this series, check out “Remembering the Past.” To read the second post, check out “Back to the Future!

The Hurried Little Hamster

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My daughter Natalie got a pet for Christmas this past year. It is a very resilient little dwarf hamster. At night if you listen carefully you can hear the faint sound of squeaking. While Natalie is fast asleep that little critter is hard at work running in his plastic wheel at the speed of light. Like most “animals” of his nature he has a lot of energy to burn.

I can sympathize with my furry little house guest.

As a kid I was never allow to consume artificial flavoring. In church, the whole pew would shake along with me as I unconsciously tapped my foot or bounced my leg. I was a ball of energy. Later on in high school I learned to channel my energy into working as many hours as possible at an after-school job, and when I got to Arrowhead it felt like I was let out of a cage and told that camp was a new plastic wheel to spin on.

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This was fantastic! Do you know how much you can get done when you live where you work? With no commute, no need for boundaries, and no concept of overtime, I was unstoppable…

…or was I?

It didn’t take long (well, longer than it should have) to realize that in my pursuit of “to-do” list check marks, task oriented results and putting in an extra hour or twenty, I wasn’t very present. I wasn’t content to sit still in a moment and enjoy it thoroughly. If I’m honest, it’s still something I struggle with and something I’ve become increasingly convinced that I need to be diligent with.

Learning to Be Present

The third component to my pre-summer get-away is practicing the presence of God.

It is the idea of stopping and remaining still in order to be fully present in God’s presence. It’s not bad to get some done, strive for accomplishment, or dutifully do your job. But there is more to life and ministry than just that. There’s more to a relationship with God than doing ministry.

We are not machines, we are not robots and we certainly cannot work our way into heaven. God loves us because He made us, not because of what we have done or what we will do. I get it. When my daughter Natalie was born I loved her. She hadn’t done anything. In fact, she was completely dependent on me. All she had, including my love for her had come from me (and her mom, of course).

God’s love for us and His desire for us to be present in His presence are tremendously pervasive. It should cause us to stop, it should give us great joy, and it should in the end impact the way we live (including the things we do for Him).

Here are some ways to be intentional about being present in God’s presence. I encourage and challenge you to join me. Remember the past, ready yourself for the future, but most importantly – remain in the present.

 

  1. Pray and ask God to remind you and show you His presence throughout your day.
  2. Take some time to search your heart. A great way to do this is through journaling. I am always amazed at what is actually on my heart and mind when I take the time to stop and listen.
  3. Rest. Ask God for permission to take a break. Natalie’s little hamster stops from time to time to get a drink, eat some food or sleep. If he didn’t I’m sure he would keel over in no time.
  4. Being present is much like breathing – inhale and exhale. It’s a matter of life and death. In fact, sitting down in a comfortable position and focusing on your breathing is a great way to focus on God’s presence.   It is a way to remove distraction from your heart and mind. It allows you not to be occupied or pre-occupied with anything but God.
Ben Myers
Camp Director at Arrowhead Bible Camp
Ben Myers has served as the Camp Director at Arrowhead Bible Camp in Brackney, PA for the past 13 years. Arrowhead is a ministry committed to discipleship through its programs for adults with developmental disabilities, missions opportunities for youth groups, and mentoring of High School and College students. Ben also teaches as an adjunct professor at Lancaster Bible College and holds degrees from Cairn University and Baptist Bible Seminary.