I took several week’s off from my blog and FB Live to attend family events. One of those events involved my oldest son marrying his sweetheart. On that day, God graced me with another incredible gift besides gaining a lovely daughter. It was the present of living in the present moment.
As I prepared to get dressed, I added several needed items in my purse, one being my phone. My plan was to have it on hand in case there was a special moment I wanted to capture. What I learned on that beautiful day was that every moment was a beautiful moment. Because I wanted to be in each beautiful space, I never took out my phone. From the moment the marriage ceremony began to next day, I never checked my messages. I never went on social media. I never even thought to check my email. Instead I savored every minute, fully experiencing each one. Part of the reason I was able to be completely engaged on the wedding day was the confidence of knowing that Dan and Casey, the groom and bride, had hired a wedding photographer who was being paid to capture memorable moments. My mind was at rest not worried about what I was missing on my phone.
It was not until the next day that I realized God had also graced me with several friends who also had taken fantastic pictures and sent them to me via text messages. Friends had taken pictures of the wedding couple and of me with friends, and of me with my family members.
Oh! And as for the emails and social media posts, I didn’t miss anything while fully engaged in the wedding day. As for the pictures that friends and family posted that day on social media, I was able to easily add my “likes” and comments the following day. I also had time the next few days to respond to my emails.
As I reflected on this wonderful gift God had given me, I thought about how often my thoughts are often distracted by technology. I have been thinking about being intentional about being fully present in lots of different situations not just the really big events. How much am I missing out on because I am not fully committed to the conversation or situation at hand?
To help us check our own practice of being present, I am asking some probing questions about what keeps us from being thoroughly engaged. May these questions help us better to be wholly present!
Do I text or email while out to dinner with family or friends?
When someone calls and it is not an emergency, do I ask if I can call them back because I am in the middle of a face-to-face conversation or do I have the phone conversation in front of the other person?
Do I put my phone on silent and put it away during sacred occasions such as church ceremonies, funerals, etc.?
Am I distracted by television when eating dinner with my family?
Do I try to have a meaningful conversation with loved ones with my eyes on the computer or phone screen?
Do I put my phone on silent when I go to bed?
How often am I checking my phone for text messages, emails, and social media notifications?
Do I use good eye contact when speaking to anyone letting them know I care deeply about what they are saying?
Is there any form of technology such as phones, radios, televisions, or computers that I can use a little less to be in the moment, or to take in nature, or to enjoy being with family or friends?
Father God, help me to be entirely present in each moment you give. Amen.
The happy bride and groom.
Me, the best man and brother, Mitch, and my husband, Steve