I am an anxious person. My inward anxieties manifest themselves outwardly in all kinds of ways: I bounce my knees when I sit, shake my foot when I lay, bite my fingernails, avoid eye contact, to name a few. Rarely am I ever at peace with the moment. I'm always thinking ahead, thinking of what I will be doing next, what I could be doing if I weren't here, if I weren't so bored. I am finding that I am not a very content person. Things could always be better.
But what is happening to me through these anxieties, which literally make up most of my day, is that I am missing out on what God is wanting to do in me at any given moment, no matter how mundane. Let's face, most of life is mundane. If we embraced only the exciting moments, we would be bored ninety-nine percent of the time. But we might be surprised how exciting, how joyful and fulfilling, our lives can be at all times when we acknowledge God's presence with us (and, lo, I am with you always) and in turn make ourselves fully present to him.
I am currently in the process of training myself to take those physical manifestations of anxiety as signals to stop and refocus on what God is doing in the present moment. Because inevitably whenever I am bouncing my knee or biting my nails or doing mundane things half-heartedly I am trying to escape from my present situation to some fantasy world where life is so much more exciting.
And there is a big difference between fantasizing and dreaming. Dreams are rooted in reality. God dreams and wants us to dream. But dreams are not devoid of our present realities like fantasies are. Dreams are incarnational, down-to-earth, directly linked to what is really going on in our lives and what will truly become of us. This to say, dreaming is good. If we are dreaming the way God dreams, our dreams will actually help us in our quest to be present, to embrace every moment of our lives, because we know that every moment is a stepping stone on the path toward the fulfillment of our dreams. So we must learn the difference between fantasizing and dreaming. Anxiety leads to fantasy. Dreams come from the peace of being fully present in God's omnipresence.
Well, I didn't expect to go there, but it is what it is. Next post I will talk about being fully present in corporate worship.