Charles de Foucauld chose to define his life with the simple phrase, “Present to God……present to People.” I am intrigued by the simplicity of that life mission of presence, but must confess I don’t always find it easy. I have difficulty being present to God unless I am still and quiet enough to sense his presence. And, I find it much easier to be present to people who I like and who like me, who I like to listen to and who will listen to me.
What does it mean to “be present?” For me it entails being still, quiet, listening, available, reflective and observant in four dimensions of life.
Present to God:
I can be present to God only when I am still enough, quiet enough, and listen enough to hear the kind of whispering Elijah heard on the mountain.
Question: How can I regularly create the conditions that allow me to feel God’s presence and to hear His voice?
Present to Others:
I can be present to others only when I am available enough to people to be spontaneously redirected, as Philip was when he was directed to the chariot of the Ethiopian.
Question: How can I regularly redirect my focus from myself and my tasks to the people God brings across my path?
Present to Self:
I can be present to myself only when I am contemplative enough and reflective enough to be honest about my inner condition, as Paul was when he penned his frustration with his fleshly self.
Question: How can I daily carve out time to reflect upon my motives, attitudes and behaviors?
Present to the Moment:
I can be present to the moment only when I am observant enough see where God is working, as Jesus was when he discerned teachable moments and shared parables and performed miracles.
Question: How can I heighten my awareness that God is present and offering direction and guidance in every moment, circumstance and relationship?
Posted on July 2, 2019