During the first days of the New Year, the ancient town of Augsburg, Germany hosts a big (in European terms, hee!) Prayer House conference; we could not attend, but my kids and I watched the web-stream.
A remark in one of the teachings brought me back to what John posted about being in the present moment. The Augsburg Prayer House leader shared a scientific study where they discovered that in an average company, most of the work of a day is done in about 10% of the time! In other words, for only about three quarters of a single hour out of a whole 8-hour day, the staff is effective. And no, this is not laziness; it is lack of focus. People seem to find it hard to concentrate on one thing and finish before they act on another: they are interrupted, or they don’t optimize what they are doing, or they are “multitasking” (as they are supposed to) and fail to do one thing fully.
I have not read the study and have no idea about its reliability, but even if reality is five times better, is it good then? John wrote a lot on how we rob ourselves of what life has for us if we miss the present moment. Obviously we rob society as well.
The Gaze in the Moment
The man we listened to had another goal than I have here, but he reminded his audience of a little fact which exploded spiritual truth to me: In the German language we also have the word “moment,” but we write it with a capital letter: “Moment.” We also have another word for the same content: “Augenblick” (yes, difficult to pronounce, sorry). This word is most amazing for when translated, it means “the gaze of an eye!” The word is still in use though old, and I am rather sure that when this very word came up in our language, people might have had more in mind than their own gaze. This word came from a time when everyone still knew that there was a Gaze upon them! Does this make a difference? Yes!
What does it take to live in the moment? To allow yourself to fully enjoy the sunset out there? Or to take the time to draw back and concentrate on a work you have to do? It takes trust!
When I know someone cares, I can lean back for a few minutes. When I know my future is in loving hands, I can let go of control. When I know there’s a good plan for my life, I don’t need to worry about what’s coming next.
Aware of the Gaze
I want to live aware of the Gaze of God’s eyes upon me. Eyes that see everything and from which I don’t need to hide. Eyes that don’t gaze for control, but rather with Love. Then I will learn to look at my life, to look at my given moment with the same concentrated focus these Eyes look upon it. I will learn I am responsible for my moment, and at the same time I can fully enjoy it.
I will learn to forget about all these other gazes around me – the gazes full of demands, expectations, ratings, and know-it-alls. I will learn to look into these Eyes and will see that they lead me (Psalm 32). I will look into them and get to know, Face to face, the One who gazes at me. And I will also get to know myself.