One morning I saw a man driving and using an electric shaver. A clear case of Distracted Driving. But I confess that I have eaten in the car more than once, answered a phone call or two and looked away from the road to change some music station or CD. Distracted driving? Yes, I, too, am guilty. I learned that hospitals now have an emergency room category for distracted walking – injuries that occurred while someone was looking at a cell phone and missed a curb or walked into a tree (true). So far, I am not guilty on that account.
The opposite of being distracted is being present. And the pinnacle of or deepest depth of being present is to be present to the Holy Presence that loves and guides us.
Richard Rohr, Franciscan writer and retreat leader, says that being present to the Presence takes three things – “keeping the heart space open which is the work of love, keeping the mind space in a “right mind” which is the work of contemplation and keeping the body present and positively accounted for which is often the work of healing. Those who can keep all three open at the same time will know the Real Presence.” (Rohr, A Spring within Us)
Much of our work at the Franciscan Spiritual Center centers on helping persons discover and practice ways to be present to the miracles and blessings around them, to see light and hope in the midst of darkness and despair and to be open to the Presence who loves, forgives and guides.
Most mornings, I do some yoga stretches and pray a couple prayers. As one person says, if I can get the morning going right, maybe the rest of the day will follow.
Here is one of the morning prayers I say:
New every morning is your love, Great God of Light and all day long you are working for good in the world. Stir up in me desire to serve you, to live peacefully with my neighbors and all creation and to devote each day to your Son Jesus Christ. Amen. (Academy for Spiritual Formation and The Worshipbook; Services and Hymns)
What helps you stay present?
And if we can help you on your journey, call or send us an email.