The Art of Being Fully Present


Wow! Thanks everyone for the great interaction and response to last week’s post about shutting down technology and being present. I want to balance those thoughts and ideas with a thought on what it takes to engage one another. I say balance because it’s easy to address a topic by saying what we should not do. I want to also offer something that we should do. After all, most of us could attest to the fact that our mobile technology is often a buffer to protect us from the uneasiness of not knowing how to be fully present.

I want to share some insights from my friend, Mike Wilcox. Mike spends a lot of time working with missionaries, helping them process through some extreme wounds, hurt, and brokenness. Last June, I spent some time with Mike talking about what it takes to engage these folks and how he helps them engage others. One of the jewels of our conversation was the way he nuanced the ideas of vulnerability, transparency, and authenticity.

I know for many of us those three words are synonymous. Mike, however, helpfully clarified these terms for me. Contrary to what I had believed, vulnerability and transparency are not necessarily good things for a community. Let me share how he explained it. Continue reading

On the discipline of prayer and ministry

Henri Nouwen, The Way of the Heart –

The discipline of leading all our people with their struggles into the gentle and humble heart of God is the discipline of prayer as well as the discipline of ministry. As long as ministry only means that we worry a lot about people and their problems; as long as it means an endless number of activities which we can hardly coordinate, we are still very much dependent on our anxious and narrow heart. But when our worries are led to the heart of God and there become prayer, then ministry and prayer become two manifestations of the same all-embracing love of God.