I’ve become convinced over the past few years that being present is one of the great keys to being in God’s presence. In fact, since Christ dwells within us, maybe it’s the same thing?
When our minds are bombarded with a thousand tasks and worries, isn’t that when we are furthest from God’s presence? Isn’t it that in our busyness we are disconnected from the beauty and divinity of the present moment? When we stop and ‘smell the roses’, is that not when the presence of Christ appears as the sweet essential aroma of life?
What is it that constantly knocks us off course from central point of God’s presence, from what is truly real, from the vibrant beauty of the present moment? Is it the thousand distractions of busy lives, or life’s challenges, or the many troubles we see in the news?
Actually it is a deeper cause that we cannot blame on outside conditions. It is our untrained minds that allow us to drift away from what is most precious and important. It is the brain’s dopamine boost of a Facebook ‘like’ that we’ve come to crave like sugar. And deeper still, it is fears, hurts, guilt and doubts lodged in our hearts that we seek to mute with a thousand distractions that are not God. These are the ‘winds and waves’ that tumult our inner boats on the ocean of life.
And yet there is always waiting for us the calm waters of God’s presence where “He makes me lie down in green pastures and restores my soul.” The Spirit constantly lures us back to peace and fulness, satisfaction and exuberant joy. All it takes to rest here is awareness of the present moment, and awareness of the Spirit of Christ within.
Far too much our thoughts are in the future or the past. Then we are away from reality, and away from the ‘centre’s of God’s love, care and protection that are instead found by embracing Him in the present moment.
CS Lewis put it perfectly: “The Future is, of all things, the thing least like eternity. It is the most temporal part of time–for the Past is frozen and no longer flows, and the Present is all lit up with eternal rays”
So why be occupied very much by anything other than the Present? Why spend time outside of Christ’s Presence?