A few days ago, a friend posted a question on Facebook asking why so many people seemed to be unhappy rather than have the ‘Christmas spirit’ or words to that effect and asked what Jesus would have to say about it. My response to him was that perhaps they had forgotten about Presence in the face of seeking presents and that Jesus might encourage folks to get their priorities in order. It got me to thinking more deeply about the importance of being fully present. How much time do I (and you) waste being in the ‘then and there’ rather than investing in the ‘here and now.’? Unfortunately, for me, far more than I would prefer in the former, but nowhere near as much as in the past. What I know is that in the grand scheme of things, the only moment that exists is this one and that everything else is mental construct. When I am caught up in the whirlwind of whatever, I miss so much of the precious moment and the interaction with the people sharing it with me. I would much rather have love as companion than anger and resentment, frustration and limitation as a result of focusing on the shoulda-woulda-coulda’s, what if’s and if onlies.
I often say that my friends and family are my treasures, worth far more than any worry, fret or fear. I love attracting kindred spirits and collecting hearts and my life is immeasurably enriched because of it. More often, when distracted by all the ‘crazy-busy’, multitasking that goes in in my life,I am finding myself taking a deep breath and re-focusing on the person in front of me. I remember the lyrics to a song that my friend Charley Thweatt wrote with the cheery title ‘You Will Die Someday’. It really is a beautiful piece with 2 particular lines that get me each time I hear them: “Take your time when being with people. What’s another minute to you?” Think about an experience in which someone really saw you, listened to you, got you, because they took that time. You felt like you mattered, that you were important and made a difference to them. That is worth far more than any wrapped and be-ribboned package.
This holy-day season and throughout every sacred day of the year, I encourage and invite you to BE the gift in the lives of those you love and those whom you will love that you haven’t even met yet, and allow them to BE that for you as well. One of the cool things about this type of present is that it can be freely given, costing nothing and the recipient will not mind that you are re-gifting.