be here now

I gave up making new years resolutions a long time ago.  I never really felt like it was a great idea but I know that in elementary and middle school it’s a great ice breaker for teachers to use when you get back from break so I blame them for my feeling like I always needed to have at least two or three.  But in my adult life I’ve given up on them and I haven’t looked back on that decision … until recently that is.
Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t make a resolution this year.  But at church on Sunday our pastor challenged us with a new thought.  She was talking through identity and introduced this idea of “one word” … she posed the question of  “If you had to describe yourself in one word, what would it be?  One word that says who you are?”  The idea comes from the book Eat, Pray, Love which I read last year and this thought that every city has one word that describes it and that every person has one word that describes them.  It can’t be a descriptor of what you DO … example, mine can’t be student or Pastor-in-training.  Rather it’s supposed to be a word that describes who you are, not what you do.
Then, she posed the question of what is one word that you want to be about this year.  One word, hopefully placed on your heart by God, that you want to have define your actions this year.  It was an interesting thing to reflect on.  She recognized that these words may take time to come to us, hers had taken a few weeks but that they’ll flush themselves out eventually if we seek them out and pray about it.
As for my words… my doing word for the year came almost instantly, but my being word…that’s coming slower.  I have ideas about what it could be but I’m not sure yet I wanna put it out there this early in the stages.  Instead I’ll share my doing word ….
After our pastor finished speaking and praying for us, I got the chance to just sort of sit in silence and almost immediately I had my word.  It’s something I’ve struggled with for a long time and it’s the idea of being present.  I’m a mental wanderer.  I suspect that I have slight ADD tendencies but more so I think I just have too many ideas and thoughts running through my head.  It is extremely easy to day dream in seminary which causes you to suddenly be at the end of class and wondering where the last hour and twenty minutes have gone.
I also have struggled in my relationships in being fully present at any given moment.  It’s not an endearing quality I’m sure, and it is probably quite annoying.  It even spills over into my relationship with God at times, I start to pray or spend time with him and my mind just drifts.  I’m sure he just sort of rolls his eyes at me while my mind wanders and waits for me to come back to what I was thinking originally.
So this year, or maybe just this semester, I’m going to work hard on being present.  Fully present in whatever situation I’m in at any given time.  I want to be better at listening, really listening to people.  I want to fully be present in class and glean wisdom from my professors and fellow classmates.  I want to be fully present in church (which requires actually getting there, which is a sub-goal of mine).  I want to be fully present with my roommates.  Fully present with Emmett knowing that this year is going fast and next year I won’t be with him as much.  I want to not let my mind daydream about situations that are not reality but to dream about things that can become a reality.
I’m not saying that I’m going to cure myself of absentmindedness in a year, but I’m hoping that by trying to tackle it hard I will be better eventually.  I also hope to be better at blogging … it’s just so therapeutic to my soul to get my thoughts out there.

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