Are You “All” There? If not, where are you?
I stumbled upon this quote a few months ago as I mindlessly perused hundreds of images on Pinterest. This one stuck out. I love quotes & I often find the simpler the better.
This one is a gem.
I have had these words tumbling over and over in my mind since finding it and it is changing how I live.
This quote caught my attention not only because of the genius within it, but because of the voice behind it. Many of you probably remember the story of Jim Elliot, I’ve grown up listening to my mom tell me about him. But in case you aren’t familiar, here’s why seeing his name made me pause:
In 1956, Jim Elliot set out with 4 other men to travel into the jungles of Ecuador with the goal of reaching the dangerous Waodani tribe to share the gospel with them. After a few brief but friendly encounters with two of the tribe members the 5 men began anxiously planning a visit to the tribe’s village. However, before they were able to do so they were attacked by the tribe and were all killed. Jim Elliot was married, had a small daughter, and lost his life for the Lord at the age of 28. He had the opportunity to lead a safer life in the States but felt Ecuador and the Auca people were where he should be. His heart was “all there” with these people and after his death, his wife, Elizabeth Elliot and daughter Valerie remained behind with the Auca and brought the belief in Jesus to the entire tribe.
This quote, “wherever you are -” hit me. I’m in the present, I’m in “right now” and I’m rarely completely -heart, mind & soul – present. This idea has caused me to take steps that have opened up new and refreshing challenges before me. Here are some of the ways I’ve been living this out:
– Fully commit to something. I’ve attended my home church, Bethany Church in Long Beach, CA my entire life and found that I fluctuate between seasons of involvement and detachment. I recently started attending a new young adults ministry there and while I’ve been stand-offish for the past few years I decided (because of this quote) that I was going to be “all there” and am finally getting involved in ways I didn’t anticipate for myself.
– Engage with the people in front of you. Being in an iPhone family I have found out how easy it is to disengage with the people around you in favor of checking your phone. Last Sunday we had a big family dinner at my parents house and instead of falling into my normal mode of operation by pulling my phone out I engaged my grandma in a great conversation that led to pulling out old albums and learning some great family history. I was in the moment with her and I will never regret that time.
– Be intentional about feeling and experiencing. I love seeing the fireworks at Disneyland. I have a pass and for my birthday each year I just want to be camped out on Main Street, USA to see the show. Since my birthday is in December the weather is always a bit iffy but if we’re lucky enough to get a full show I find myself each time trying as hard as I can to realize what I’m doing, “I’m watching the fireworks!”, where I am, “I’m at Disneyland!”, who I’m with, “I’m with my sweet husband!” and why I’m there, “It’s my birthday!”. If I don’t do this then I trail away, get distracted by the talking family in front of me or by the kid on his dad’s shoulders that’s blocking my view of the Matterhorn and I miss the reason I was there – the fireworks.
As you see, my sentimental heart can quickly become carried away and swept into memories from the past that I love reliving and sharing. However, I am also a worrier and often find my mind drifting into future uncertainties and endless question marks.
How can you see this idea being helpful to you in your daily life?
Do you remember Jim Elliot’s story? If so, how has it impacted your life?
I think we all can relate to not-being in the moment. There are so many “things” in life that pull us in so many directions. Life is to short to not pay attention to the moment we have NOW! The past is gone and the future is never guaranteed. When I feel like I need to take a step back and refocus to get back into the moment, I focus my attention on my breath. We lose so much joy in life if we never take time for the now. I love your blog, I am looking forward to you next one. Great job! You are a tremendous leader in our company!
Wow, thank you so much Neil! I couldn’t agree with you more about the need to refocus – when we are able to do it priorities re-align and I know I am always grateful for the perspective changer. Thank you for the support & encouragement – I’m thrilled you liked it!
You know I think the world of you. I enjoy your writing so much.
This post strikes a chord with me for sure . I am famous for starting off strong and then trickling off.
Thank you for the reminder to commit fully and be all there.
You’re doing it Lori! Thank you for your kind words. I’m thrilled to have you on the team, to see your level of commitment grow & your unending enthusiasm feed into my own. I’m happy that this post meant something to you – because you mean a great deal to me. Thank you friend!
I enjoyed reading your blog, it was inspiring to know that some of our younger adults
Generation are able to relate to the “Here and Now Moments” They last a life time of “Memories”
Relating to people around you is so important and the thought Here today Gone tomorrow. You being
in the work place gives you the Opportunity to relate to others it shows you are Passionate person.
Your blog will give INSPIRATION to others. Bless you keep up spirit up.!!!!
One of my sons Volunteer for the Red Cross Disaster !!! After Work!! I’m proud of you & my Son!!!
Wow Frannie, thank you so much for your comment and for sharing your own experiences. What a blessing your son is as a volunteer, I have such deep respect for our volunteering men and women who I think really know what it means to be in the moment and make it count. Volunteers and people like Jim Elliot are the very spirit of why I wrote this blog. Thank you again for sharing with us & thank your son on my behalf for his service. I am so grateful!
Your post and related thoughts are very timely and relevant. It seems most unfortunate today that technology and social media are working against the goal of “being in the moment”, unless, of course, this means being in several moments at once on a second by second basis. Like you, I try to get disconnected from distractions. One way that I do this is go off hiking without earbuds, to just experience the simple joy of nature and the occasional terrific views afforded by local trails (I even put my phone on “vibrate”…do not make calls…but carry it along for emergency only). I watched a documentary film on Jim Elliot last year, and was struck by his family’s tremendous strength of forgiveness and their continuing relationship with members of this tribe.
When I was in school, I was taught the strength and importance of focusing on the task at hand so that I could get more out of the experience and be the most efficient at using my time so that, once this task was completed, I could then move forward to the next.
Unfortunately, some people today need to re-boot themselves in order to learn the value of being in the moment. Thank you,
Greg, your ideas about enjoying nature and pulling yourself away from the distractions are great ways of re-discovering yourself. When the chaos is removed we are free to clearly see who and what we are and I think that is so very important in self-health and personal integrity. Thank you so much for sharing what works for you as you try to be “all there”. Jim Elliot’s family as well as Nate Saint’s (a fellow missionary also murdered) have made incredible relationships with the Auca people and have since brought the entire tribe into a loving relationship with God. If that isn’t an insane testimony to the power of a single moment in time, followed by decision made out of the right priorities I don’t know what is. Thanks again, Greg!