We are rarely PRESENT. We are rarely actively listening, focusing, hearing, thinking, or for that matter praying.
Our society has become so overwhelmed with work, emails, social networking, words with friends, texting, news, you name it that we forget things like... our child is still in the car. Can you blame these people?
I know that there were days early on when I had Bailey that I was so tired from being up all night. My job was emailing me wanting to know when I was returning, social workers were calling every 10 minutes, friends and family were stopping by, groceries needed to be bought and we were out of diapers and formula. A trip to the store required an act of God. I can remember pulling out of the parking space and slamming the brakes to turn around - Did I even get Bailey out of the cart?? Of course I had but I didn't even remember doing it! We just DO things without even knowing we do them. Haven't you ever been driving along and all of the sudden you think - Did I run a red light? I don't even remember looking at the light? Chances are you looked and it was green... but the same remains... our minds are so clogged.
I remember this verse from a bible study I did once,
"Remember the condition of your flocks, give careful attention to your herds."
When I read the news of this Georgia father who pulled up at work last week totally forgetting that his child was in the back seat and went into work all day only returning to find him dead, I just hurt.
It was a terrible mistake. Apparently, it was not normal for him to take him - his wife normally did. And in this world of schedules and deadlines he just did what he always does... got in the car, drove to work, got out, locked the door... like robot.
I know we can all sit around and argue how ridiculous that was, but we won't get anywhere.
Many times as a mom, I feel like some days I hardly spend any one on one time with Bailey. Some days it is all work and no play. Chores, errands, phone calls, repeat. Last year, I had had enough and started making a conscious decision to focus more.
Laundry can wait, dishes can wait, we can always order in dinner if I don't get to the store. I just need to be more present with her. And not just Bailey but Christian too... and the dog... and God.
Sometimes, I feel so discombobulated that I can't even pray without distraction... Some nights I get in bed, lay down and almost fall asleep and then realize that I hadn't even said a prayer the entire day! So I start... "God, thank you for all that you have given us and all of our graces..." then it happens... I start thinking of something else and my mind wanders... a half hour later I snap out of it and realize I completely aborted the prayer and started stressing! It is really almost comical...
I remember telling my sister I do that and she told me to stop saving my prayers for the night. Pray all day. In the car, in the shower, walking, wherever! If you do it that way, you will get it all in.
I just think that we can all learn from this terrible story in the news. Be present. Be present with your kids, your spouse, your pet, and your God.
Today I am renewing last year's vow to be more present... this life can wait. I vow to understand the condition of all in my flock and to give them the attention they need and deserve.