What Does It Mean to Be Present?


With a passion for 'lifelong learning', bookstores are one of my favorite places to browse.  I also have grandchildren so occasionally I find myself in the kids section of the store.  I have always liked picture books because they were easy to read.  It also provides a fuller learning experience by using words and pictures to connect.  While I was purusing the shelves I was surprised by a simple kids book by Rana DiOrio, "What Does It Mean to Be Present?".  It had very nice pictures but also an amazingly simple storyline.  

It starts off with what being present is NOT; 'showing up to class, sharing something in 'Show and Tell' or wrapping yourself up'. It is what being present is that captivated me.  Things like 'listening carefully, focusing on the here and now, appreciating others, being patient, savoring good food' and lots of other wise and insightful tips.  Even though it is a book for kids we can all learn from what it has to offer.  One of the foundational aspects of spiritual formation is 'being present'.  We need to be present in the context of what God is doing, how he is leading, what he is saying, and where he is showing up.  LCI teaches about being aware of the word, work and presence of God.  You have to be present to do that.  Sometimes we can learn more from the simpler kids books, I know I do.

John Hilliard, Leadership Connextions International