What do you think of when you hear the words, “fully present”?

Present means to be here.

When you were in school, maybe your teachers took attendance. Students would respond to their name by saying, “Here,” even if they wished they were elsewhere, or were indeed elsewhere in their thoughts. Some would say, “Present.” It means you are physically in a space. But to be fully present (not just physically) means so much more.

To be fully present sounds redundant: how could you be halfway or even three-quarters present, physically speaking? You can’t. You’re here or there, not two places at once.

However, it is easy to be physically present but emotionally absent. It is possible to be here but also a million miles away in your head.

The word present also can be used to refer to time. As in, the present moment.

Present means right now.

Time continually rolls on: past, present, future. You are always in the present moment, again physically speaking. You might be thinking of something in the past or the future, but all you’ve got, really, is the present. You live in an ever unfolding series of present moments.

The word present also refers to something you give to someone else.

Present means gift.

You get presents at Christmas or other holidays, birthdays and anniversaries. You give presents to show someone how much you care. You can give someone physical objects, such as jewelry or flowers or books. You might give someone the present of a meal or cleaning their home. Ideally, a present is not something given out of obligation, but an expression of love. Often, presents surprise us, which usually adds to our delight.


So what does fully present mean? What if it is all three? What if being present means savoring the gift of being here, right now?

In today’s DeeplyLoved entry, we read this:

“We worry about the past, which we cannot change–whether it was the way that we snapped at our spouse over breakfast or an error in judgment we made years ago but can’t get free of. Or we worry about the things that are to come–a test at school, the bills we don’t know how we’re going to pay, or a big presentation at work. When we focus on the past or the future, we cannot live in the present.

We miss out, as a result, on experiencing something supernatural. The present moment is the only place where we can experience the presence of Jesus. It is the only place where we can be unhurried, and therefore, trust.”

Did you get that? When we worry, we miss out on a supernatural experience.

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Most of our hurry comes from allowing our thoughts to run unbridled, to focus on the past or the future (neither of which we can control) instead of enjoying the gift of the present moment. Instead of trusting Jesus in the moment.

Today, pay attention. Be mindful. Allow yourself to be fully present in each moment. When you find yourself thinking about the past, let it go. When you find yourself worrying about the future, gently turn that over to Jesus and thank him for the gift of the present.