Unease, anxiety, tension, stress, worry–all forms of fear–are caused by too much future, and not enough presence. Guilt, regret, resentment, grievances, sadness, and bitterness, and all forms of nonforgiveness are caused by too much past, and not enough presence.
When I first began gardening vegetables, I became a seed-starting addict. I’d begin in January with trays of seeds in our den in front of the doors to the sunny patio out front. I would move shelving and tables to create the optimal growing environment without having to purchase any equipment.
I’d spend one Saturday in January documenting all of the seeds I’d planted and dreaming of how far ahead I’d be when Spring came. And for the first few weeks, I’d be so giddy that I’d arrive home every day hoping to see the first seedling sprout up through the dirt.
As time would pass, however, I’d concentrate so much on the planning and excitement of the Summer garden, that my care for my seedlings would sometimes get left by the wayside. Little seedlings cannot go long without water. Little seedlings get too leggy and keel over without proper lighting. Little seedlings cannot live off of dreams of future gardens or memories of past success.
Little seedlings needed my presence.
In the presence of our own humanity, it is easy to get overwhelmed by regrets from the past or worries about the future. We get “inside our heads” and ruminate on what we could have done differently or outcomes that haven’t even occurred yet. We not only lose the present, but also presence.
During this Lenten season, I’m committing myself to be being more like the little seedling and less like the gardener. I’m surrendering myself to the care of God and spending more time in the presence of the Holy Spirit.
For me that takes prayer, silence, and intention–practices that nurture my soul. And in the day-to-day being we call life, I find that I am becoming more aware of the little things that cause my spirit to flourish.
My prayer is that each of us finds time for presence–in Love, in Silence, in Surrender.