I was in a musical in high school called Once on this Island. I didn't have a main role, but I was a pretty amazing breeze, and a tree (if I do say so myself). And I did have one line that I said with all my heart: "A beautiful child, the pale color of coffee, mixed with cream!" If you're into Broadway musicals, you know that Once On This Island was re-released and won this year's Tony Award for Best Musical Revival. Well, my favorite song in the musical is called, "Waiting for Life to Begin", which the main character Ti-Moune sings, as she sits on the beach with her adoptive parents, waiting for something significant to happen in her life that could possibly justify why she survived a fatal storm when she was little. And although it's one of my all-time favorite songs, (as soon as I sing the first line, my kids know they're in for at least a 5-minute reenactment of the scene), it's the very opposite of what I want my life's anthem to be. I don't want to "wait for life to begin" - I WANT TO LIVE LIFE NOW!
How do we live life now? How do we not get caught up in simply going through the motions of life. We live so methodically most the time, that it can feel almost robotic...like you're in auto-pilot mode. Have you ever arrived somewhere, like at work, or at home, and realized you have no idea how you got there? You went into auto-pilot. You got dressed, had coffee, brushed your teeth, got your stuff, got out the door, and followed the regular route and arrived...all without truly being present to what you were doing. That kind of living is not death, but it's not true living either.
As Christians, I believe we have an even greater motivation for wanting to be present to each moment. When we are AWAKE and AWARE of our present moments, we can actually tune in to what Holy Spirit might be speaking in each moment. Most of us know the song where we sing the line, "let us become more aware of your presence". Look at those words again. WHEN WE ARE PRESENT, WE BECOME MORE AWARE OF HIS PRESENCE. When we are not aware of the present moment, we miss countless Kingdom moments.
What are Kingdom moments?
Kingdom moments are those times where you notice the most ordinary of things around you, and yet it's like you're seeing it through the eyes of a newborn, as if you've never seen it before. It captures your attention, and you experience it with all your senses. It's gratitude over the simplest and ordinary of things. The way the setting sun turns the neighborhood a wistful sepia-tone color for a few minutes just before everything turns gray at dusk. The nostalgic feelings of childhood that are captured when you hear an old song on the radio. That moment when you're in an area full of people, but all of a sudden you have a feeling of wakefulness, and it's like you notice them for the first time. It might even be your own kids in your own living room, but after hearing their voices in the distance for some time, their face comes into focus and you finally hear them calling you, "mom, mom...are you listening to me?" Or it might be while waiting in a line, you happen to take notice of the people near you. You notice what they're wearing or what mood they seem to be in as they talk on their phone.
In those moments (in fact, in every moment), Holy Spirit is present. He is lovingly talking to us. He wants to point out different features along the journey. Things that he knows will intrigue us, encourage us, or cause us to be grateful. He's nudging us out of our comfort zones into the world of risk and faith. He wants to teach us small lessons, not like the monotonous lectures our parents gave us (or that we now give to our children), but the winsome gentle lessons of a humble and honest shepherd. He also loves when we partner with him to do His work. He allows our bodies, hands, and voices, to bring encouragement and wisdom to others.
But oh, how often we miss these moments because we are not even aware we're in them - we're still in auto-pilot.
Our bodies are there, but our minds are elsewhere. Lost in thoughts, regrets, distractions, worries about the future, or just busy non-productive cycles of thought we've experienced for the thousandth time that day. This is no way to live. We think like Ti-Moune: We're waiting for that significant something to happen...the proposal, the promotion, the provision to come in. It's not that those aren't valid desires, but UNTIL THOSE COME...there is LIVING to be done!
True living. Awake living. Grateful-for-the-ordinary-things-that-are-already-there living...Let's wait less, and live more!
How? Expanding our awareness of the present moment and thus also, becoming more aware of His presence. Living awake, so that our 5 senses are experiencing THIS moment. While also awakening our spiritual senses to experience opportunities of gratitude, sharing love, and speaking Truth into a situation.
Exploring these topics is best done in relationship with others. Talking and bouncing ideas off one another. Sharing insights and learning from the lessons others are experiencing in their days. Encouraging each other to treat ourselves with kindness when we are frustrated with our experiences. Following others, and letting others follow you as we are all on different legs of our journeys. That's what Christ-centered living is all about!!
It's what Christ Centered Tribe is all about. Join us on the journey. Be a part of the tribe.