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Are you present?

Emily Norris marriage

A headline on Facebook that caught my attention: Are you present in your life? At first my answer was a resounding yes! “How could I not be present in my life?”, I thought to myself as I kept scrolling thru my newsfeed on my iPad while waiting in line at the grocery store, already late for work. The ringing of my phone in my pocket alerted me seconds later that I had new emails. As minutes passed and I scrolled through the six new emails I received, my mind continually went back to the question. Am I present in my life? 

Life never slows down. I feel like obligations and responsibilities in my life snowball, growing with size and intensity until they threaten to flatten me. Don’t even get me started on technology: smart-phones, tablets, and infinite apps, to keep you “connected”, make life easier, or just pass the time. The day can be filled from start to finish when it starts with a full battery on your phone or tablet.

Add planning a wedding to the list and its like adding a couple of zeros to the number of items on your current to-do list. Forget about free time. Any free time you did have will be filled searching for the perfect… well… everything. How will you and your future spouse create a wedding that will impress your friends and families, and provide you with enough memories to last the rest of your life? Not to mention the incredible task of joining two lives together in the process. 

Are you as stressed as I was? Are you thinking about the enormous weight on your shoulders and how you will accomplish it all, and still be sane when its time to say I do? I did. 

Unfortunately my answer didn’t come until after my wedding. However, there is a way to ensure your sanity and live an abundant life. Something so incredibly simple we often dismiss it as impossible. How could two words be the answer to everything? Life isn’t that easy, right? All my errands aren’t going to run themselves. Who will worry about picking the perfect color scheme for my wedding if I don’t? 

Here is my answer. It’s nothing new. But it may be something new to you during this incredibly stressful time in your life. Honestly, I can think of only a few things as stressful as planning a wedding. Are you ready?… Trust God. 

Those who know your name trust in you,
 for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you. 
- Psalms 9:10

Trusting God equals being present in your life. It means waking up each day, and allowing God to guide you through it. He continually speaks to us in little ways throughout the day that can easily be overlooked if we are preoccupied with worry about tomorrow. Trusting God is giving up control and blindly following God’s plan for the day. We submit to him completely so that he can show us what needs attention in our lives. I’ve heard it said, “Do you want to make God laugh, just show him your plan”. I think I finally understand the joke. 

A straightforward concept but one that can seem impossible to follow. My challenge to you is try it for one day. One day is not bad to try a new idea in the whole scheme of things. This is the very challenge I gave to myself not long ago.

Give yourself freely for one day. Wake up and ask God to lead you all day. Leave your to-do list at home. If you find yourself thinking about the future, turn your mind back to God with a simple prayer for guidance. Every time you hear God or see him guiding you, thank him. It won’t be easy, you will have to remind yourself constantly to follow him. I promise, your effort will be rewarded. 

Give yourself wholly to God’s plan for your day and you will have an AMAZING day. You will be stunned by how abundantly God blesses you that day and everyday after. Often, you don’t see your blessings because you are in a rush. 

Hopefully you will be inspired to give God the next day, then a week, and a month until it becomes a habit. Eventually, it’s my prayer that we can stop living by this world’s standards, and instead be inspired to live the kind of life that God promises us over and over in the bible. Our God made the ultimate sacrifice so that we could live closer to him. He fulfilled his promise, now its time for us to keep our end of the bargain and become closer with God. 

Good luck and have a blessed day!

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