The cloudy circumstances and conflicting reports and varied information and misinformation surrounding the situation with Michael Brown and Darren Wilson sparked not only protests, but also a lot of contention among people, most of whom seemed bent on taking a side. Who was in the right? Who was in the wrong? What should justice look like in this situation?
To be present, fully present, is not an easy thing. David Benner, in his freshly published book, Presence & Encounter: The Sacramental Possibilities of Everyday Life, invites us to practice doing just one thing at a time, and to do it with presence. One might be thinking of the term mindfulness just as well.
“Being present simply involves letting go of all the usual ways we avoid the present moment.” (p. 22)
Investment. Choice. We have focus, we have mindsight. Where do we choose to place it, to invest it? If we want to be present to something, or someone, we must invest the fullness of our being and presence into that one thing, that moment, that person, that encounter with the tree or the sunset. There is a sacrament to the present moment that is truly all that we have. But we are often snatched out of the moment by our concerns, worries, anxieties, fears or hopes about our past or our future. The present moment is very easily robbed. And we miss the paradise around us. Continue reading