One of the things I’ve had a hard time doing since becoming a husband and a father is being fully present in each of life’s moments. Maybe it’s gone on longer than that, but Heather, Jacob and Naylan have certainly helped bring it to my attention—not through words, but by being mirrors that help me see myself more accurately.
One specific example that I’m not proud to fess up to: when I’m “playing” with Jacob, I’m often not really there mentally. It’s not rare to have something entirely unrelated going through my head. I might be milling through a project going on at work, running numbers through a mortgage calculator, brainstorming business ideas or thinking about a revelation God recently showed me. Periodically I’ll pull out my iPhone to do a quick Google search related to the topic and keep the rabbit trail going while giving my son a quarter of my full attention.
I don’t like it. While he might be mostly unaware at his young age, I know I’m robbing Jacob. And now that I think about it more critically and consider how bright and aware he truly is, he is probably tuned in more than I’d like to admit.
I recently came across this quote by Lee Segall. “Real generosity toward the future consists in giving all to what is present.” It struck me because I don’t benefit anyone by checking out of a moment to mentally exist somewhere else.
I’ve often justified my rabbit trails by categorizing things I’m thinking about as “building our family’s future” (or some other common excuse men create when overworking).
There is a time and place for building your family’s future, but it’s NOT when you’re supposedly spending quality time with your family.
Being present in the present is how we best steward the future.
Are you present in all of life’s moments? If so, share tips that might be helpful for others. If not, what are you missing out on? Respond in the comment section below.