Manna From Mayhem || The Gift of Present

First, I want to give an extremely large “thank you” to each person who reads this blog and supports Muddy Feet Photography in any way. There are numerous days this labor of love is heavy on the labor and light on the love. And, it is often on those days that someone comes forward to say a Muddy Feet image touched them or a Manna post spoke directly to them. Those messages, I know, are God’s pep squad sent to pick me up and inch me forward in His plan for this business. Thank you for being here. I appreciate you.

I think it was the Dalai Lama who penned a famous quote about man continually planning for a better life and realizing at death that he had not truly lived. I cannot speak for generations past, but this is oh-so very true proverb applies today. We have a daily deluge of technology sucking us into a virtual world. Everywhere I go I see the top of people’s heads over their phone, laptop, or tablet, eyes darting left and right but glazed with the removal from reality. Where we used to only have the home television for an escape from our daily drudge, we now carry the escape with us in our pocket or purse under the disguise of connectivity. I fall victim to it often myself, planning just a quick check of Pinterest or Facebook that quickly becomes an hour (oh, sweet Pinterest, she is a temptress like no other!). We choose to lose ourselves in someone else’s life or a world that only exists online instead of fully living our own life.

Last week during my lunch hour run, I shared the trail with a pair of ladies walking together. I thought it was nice they had a partner to accompany and encourage them. Here are two people truly connecting and enjoying time together. Only, one of the ladies wasn’t really there. She was physically present, legs pumping and health improving, but her heart, head, and attention were elsewhere. She was on the phone. She completely ignored her walking partner for the duration of their exercise. The snippets of spoken word I caught when crossing their path led me to believe it was a social call and not a dire emergency. The phrases “Honey, let me tell you” and “No, she didn’t!” aren’t often found in crucial, life altering conversation. This woman was rude, for sure, but her underwhelming etiquette was not something I could just accept at face value.  She poked me.  Actually, she handed me a stick to prod my own life.  Her withdrawal encouraged me to examine how often I am not truly present with those around me.

I am sorry to say I have caught myself numerous times in the days since, my nose tucked safely in my phone and responding to a child’s question with “Hold on. Mommy’s looking at something.” Ugh. I am THAT mother.  You know, the one texting in the grocery store oblivious to her children screaming next to her because one just slammed the other into the grocery cart and then slipped in the ensuing pool of blood. Okay, not really, but same difference.

I will and do have numerous regrets in my life. Too many to count. But, I do not wish to add to them an immense regret of not being present for my family. I believe the present is called such because it is a gift. To be allowed a current status of breathing air and enjoying God’s creation is a gift, so why do we try so hard to avoid it?

Join me today in putting down the phone, logging off the Internet, and pushing the “off” button on your remote. And maybe again tomorrow. Let’s be present. Right here. Right now. Living our best life and loving our best love. And don’t update your status on Facebook to say so.

Here are a few moments I am glad I was present for this summer, with my niece & nephew, Abby & Jack, and my children, Archer & Celie.

Perhaps I will stay with you for a while, or even spend the winter, so that you can help me on my journey, wherever I go. For I do not want to see you now and make only a passing visit; I hope to spend some time with you, if the Lord permits. – 1 Corinthians 16:6-7

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