Wednesday, March 5, 2014

A Lenten Moment - Day 1 - Being Present

I'm kind of "over" multi-tasking. And I don't think I'm alone in that. The other day, my co-worker announced to the team that he would no longer subject himself or those around him to multi-tasking. He would be mono-tasking from here on. We had been warned.

And while we all chuckled and shook our heads at how many zillions of directions we all felt we were being pulled in, I know that inwardly I thought, "yes. enough."

This morning I mono-tasked with a cup of tea, a straight black tea blend from S.D. Bell. A morning tea, a wide-awake-here-I-am kind of tea. I sipped. I thought.


Today is Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent in the Catholic tradition. There is the usual talk about what this person is giving up or that person is giving up, but one thing I have held onto since my Catholic journey began in college is that a Lenten sacrifice isn't just about giving things up. It can be about doing more, doing better, or giving back, which can be almost more of a sacrifice because it's not about intentional inaction but intentional action.

At the core of faith is the understanding of constant presence. God with us. It's a model that, while seemingly impossible to perfect, is something worth pursuing. Being present to those around us. 

The truth is that we ARE pulled in a zillion directions. While at work, our email is constantly popping up a new message that needs to be addressed right now. The phone rings, a text message comes in, an email arrives on your phone. At home with the family, dinner must be made, crying children must be soothed or plopped down in front of an iPad, spouses and friends must be listened to, dogs must be let out, and the emails and the calls and the texts keep coming. 

Enough.

In the past few weeks, Edie has asked me on more than one occasion, "When can you play with me?" And my instant thought is, "Not now," though when I try and identify when would be convenient or feel feasible, there is no good answer. And so, that must change. 

Today I intend to be present to those around me. I want to really see them for who they are today. I want to hear what they are asking or needing. I want to respond with understanding. 

How will you go about being present to those around you