“Be still, and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10
Be Present! What does it mean? There are different ways to be present. Being physically present and accounted for is obviously important. Just ask a child about that regarding their parents or ask a supervisor about that regarding their subordinate. But everyone knows, especially children and bosses, that truly being present entails much more than that. Being present also means to be focused and engaged in the person and/or task at hand. Being present requires a focused engagement of every aspect of our being including the physical, mental, emotional and even the spiritual.
We live in a world that militates against that. We are bombarded 24/7 with distractions and demands for our presence, primarily through media, social networking websites, and e communication. We delude ourselves into thinking that with the sophistication of technology we can now be omni-present because we can multitask. But the stark reality is that a person cannot multitask and be fully present at the same time! It is a conceit to think that way and may actually border on idolatry because we make ourselves to be like God, who alone is omnipresent. How ridiculous it is when you stop to think about it.
So having established that, here is my take on what it means to be present from a Biblical perspective. The verse “Be still and know that I am God” says it like no other. The Hebrew word for “be still” literally means to “cease” or “cease striving”. It means to push the pause button on and forsake everything else in our lives to focus on Him.
To be present means to first and foremost ask God to be present in our lives and to focus on His presence. To fully be present in any situation or relationship we must begin there.
With that as a foundation for our understanding of what it means to “be present” I want to share with you what I am calling the 8 BE PRESENT Attitudes. I have discovered these from a study of the Scriptures and they provide eight simple ways to improve our ability to truly be present in any and every circumstance. In fact in six out of eight, the scripture used as an illustration literally tells us that these respective attitudes are to be done at all times and in every circumstance.