Today I would like to share something with you that has revolutionized my way of thinking.
It was a week or so before I left for my missions trip to Ethiopia, and it was the day of a HUGE event, of which I had been on the planning team for. We had been planning & working on this event for about 6 months. Crazy, right? So yes, it was the night we had been looking forward to, partially because we were really excited & partially because it finally would be over! Here I was driving to the event on the phone with my bestie, Rachel, absolutely ranting. (Thank you Jesus for friends who love you enough to listen to you talk like a crazy!) I was going on and on to her about how I didn't even what to go to the event! Yes, the same event I had been helping plan for about 6 months. I was having a minor break down thinking about all that I still had to do to be ready for the event, and I got to the point where I just didn't care. I was about to leave for Africa and I just wanted to be gone, not worry about all of these crazy details that really were so important. And there Rachel sits on the other end of the phone... maybe she had to just take the phone away from her ear at some points out of shear annoyance. haha But she didn't let me know if she did.
After a few minutes I told her that I would have to go because I had just picked someone up I was giving a ride to the event. Before we hung up the phone, Rachel said, "Let me pray for you." Goodness knows I was in NO position to deny prayer! So she prayed and I listened to her words in agreement. And in that very prayer Rachel said words that changed my perspective that night and to this very day. She prayed the words, "Jesus, help Dalayna to be present tonight." She wasn't praying that I wouldn't ditch the event, she was praying that I would arrive and actually be there. Mentally; emotionally; that I would be engaged and attentive to the people who were right in front of me.
I will admit, I am a very task oriented person. In my mind I am always thinking "Oh, what else do I need to get done? What else is on my to-do list? How can I utilize this time to get something else done?" Now some of you may think I sound like a very productive person. And yes, it does help me be productive, but sometimes I feel like this characteristic is a bit of a curse. The disadvantage is often times I overlook people and just see tasks that need to be completed. If I am not careful, even the time spent with people can feel like an accomplishment rather than a relationship. I am sorry to admit all of this, but it is just how I am wired.
Since that simple prayer Rachel prayed, I have tried to take on this new perspective; a new mindset. Sure I still think about tasks, reality is there are tasks that need to be completed. But I need to focus on what is in front of me. If there is a person in front of me, that is my focus. I need to be there and not just physically, but mentally. I need to be in the conversation verbally and mentally, rather than "Mmhmm..... Yea...... I agree....." The bottom line is, tasks can wait, but you never know when a person can't. Invest energy, emotion, and focus in people, because you can't just put a line through them & mark them off as done. Be present. Take advantage of every moment... & be there.
(find it here)
I love this graphic! I may just have to get it... you know, as a reminder.
Who am I kidding, I just love this kind of art! haha
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