Saturday, December 24, 2011
Presence vs. Presents
So what is presence and how does it impact our lives and those we lead?
Presence is Present
Now I know that sounds either trite or very profound. What I mean is when we are with people, we need to be with them wholeheartedly. In our technological age we have many ways to distract ourselves from the very people we seek. Cell phones, Ipods, Internet... all are mediums for communication that can get in the way of being there with someone. I have seen the perfect example of this by watching one of my teenage relatives plugged into their Ipod at a family dinner. They are physically present but their heart is miles away.
A mentor of mine said "Ministry is for the person right in front of you." To serve others we need to be present. Listen and observe the people who are right next to you. What do they need? Give them your undivided attention. Are you too busy for those you lead? Then it is time to reassess your priorities.
Presence is Yielding
Yielding is active waiting. At a yield sign my car is ready but I am waiting for an opportunity pull into the intersection. To be present is to surrender all else to the person at hand. Christmas is the most spectacular celebration of yielding. The God of the Universe yields himself to become a baby in a manger so that He can serve and save us all.
In the same way do we empty ourselves to serve those under our care? Does their agenda become our agenda, if only for the moment? Do we actively wait on them to serve their needs?
Jesus gave the greatest Christmas gift. He is "God with us, Emmanuel." In the same way we can be gifts to those around us. Today give your presence to your loved ones and those who you influence. Be there for them and share with them what God has given you. Give them your "presence".