Extraordinarily Present

A new friend used that phrase to describe an early morning encounter with a cashier at McDonald’s.  “It was too early in the morning still to have become jaded by all the people that will take him for granted and be rude to him today?”

Yesterday evening I had had the wonderful opportunity to visit with a colleague after work but realized as I went to go home that I had left my book at the office, a circumstance both silly and traumatic.

Traumatic because I’m at a really good part in the book and was looking forward to continuing both yestereve and this morning. Reading makes the commute go faster and allows me the ability to tune out the constant buzz of the world around me.

Silly because the book is in part about being a member of community and moving through this world in light of the now and not yet Kingdom. So not advocating escape from or tuning out the world at all, at all. Also silly because part of what I’ve found to enjoy about DC, as you, Dear Reader, may have noticed, is observing the community around me.

Not having my book should encourage me to practice not only what it preaches but the idea of being Extraordinarily Present.

What does being Extraordinarily Present look like?  I think it calls to mind openness, observation, authenticity, and acceptance.
Openness to receive the world around us, to be aware of the warp and weft, the ebb and flow of each moment and series of moments.
Observation of the circumstance, the terroir that created the glass of life you now hold.  Looking beyond the surface to the whys, the whats, the whos.  Can you look at a person’s face and body language and put a name to the dominant emotion they are displaying?  Can you then alter your stance toward them with a compassionate eye?
And can you give that same compassionate eye to yourself?  Are you aware of what you are displaying in a moment?  How has your circumstance dictated how you approach the world and what the world sees in you?  Is it your best, truest self?  Or is it the “light & momentary troubles” of your life (See 2nd Corinthians 4 for definition) taking the foreground?
You, Dear Reader, are so much more than what you do or have done, what is being or has been  done to you.  You are more than your circumstance, whether you are in front or behind the McDonald’s cash register, whether first thing in the morning or last thing at night. You at your most authentic are Beloved, Created, Known, and Accepted by the Creator Covenant God.  The question is can you be that to yourself as well?
When you are able to accept yourself where you are on your journey, when you are open to what the world brings, when you observe the community in which you move, and when you seek the authentic in yourself and those around you, then you can be Present, Extraordinarily Present in your own life and the lives of those around you.
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