I am a “there“ kind of person. I can’t wait to get there, to the next big thing. Whether it’s a vacation, a goal, a social outing, or an event I’m performing at, I tend to live for the excitement of the future and forget to be present in the here and now.
And something tells me I’m not alone.
In this fast-paced world where it feels like we are simply running from one thing to the next, it’s hard to be present in the here and now. Most of us tend to get into “when and then” thinking, “when this or that happens, then I’ll be happy.”
Tomorrow can easily become an idol in our lives when we start telling ourselves that everything will be better when our bills are paid off, I’m married, I have kids…and then when they’re teenagers, when those kids are out of the house!
Truth is, sometimes the “here” in our lives is messy. Actually, most of the time our “here” is messy in one way or another. Life is never perfect; and when we get caught up in future events, it oftentimes is simply a way to escape the hard reality of our everyday lives. That’s why we long for “there,” the elusive place where contentment and happiness reside.
Waiting to get “there,” whatever that place is for you, is a huge trap for most of us. And it keeps us from living in the moment.
Living in the moment means that we are fully present and aware of the emotions and thoughts that we have right now. It’s being mindful of what’s right in front of us and what’s going on deep inside of us.
And even though what we are experiencing in the present moment may be something hard and messy or boring and monotonous, God is smack dab in the middle of it. He is omnipresent, with us always, because the Bible tells us, “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:20 NIV). God will never leave us or forsake us.
And because our Loving Father is right here with us, "here" is holy ground.
It’s hard to look at the seasons of struggle in our lives as holy ground, but that is where God meets us with pockets of light, hope, and peace. Those are the places where we experience the presence of God in fresh, new, intimate ways.
I can say with all honesty that the most holy moments in my own journey have been in the hardest and most painful times of my life. Those are the seasons when I have been extremely mindful of my emotions and totally present in the reality around me and have gone to God to help me deal with whatever struggle I was walking through. It’s when I’ve been broken and facedown before Him that I have felt His presence the most intimately, and it has truly felt like holy ground.
Our struggles become the beautiful doorway to deeper fellowship with Him.
In the Old Testament, the only people allowed into the Holy of Holies, the place where God was present, was the High Priest, and that was only once a year. It was a part of the temple that was separated by a huge curtain.
Moses also stood in the presence of God, but was given a warning:
“Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.”
Exodus 3:5 (NIV)
All of the barriers that kept us from approaching God changed when Jesus died on the cross. The Bible tells us at the exact moment when Jesus took his last breath:
“At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.”
Matthew 27:51 (NIV)
The curtain that separated ordinary people like you and me was torn in two, which allowed all of us equal access to God, to His holy presence, any time and any place.
How glorious is that!
We don’t have to go to some special place and have special access to be in God’s presence. He meets us right where we are.
So don’t allow what you’re feeling in the “here” of your life tell you that God has forgotten you, that He doesn’t care about you. He is present, my friend. He sees you, and He hears your cries.
And learn from my mistakes, don’t waste your life waiting to get “there!” Here’s what I’ve found, when you do finally get “there,” you will be “here,” and “here” won’t be nearly as exciting as you thought it would be, especially if you aren’t present in the moment.
Okay, that’s confusing; but the bottom line is: God is present in your life right here, right now, so that means that “here” is Holy Ground.
Love and hugs,