Serbian word for being sane - priseban - can be translated as ‘being present to yourself”.
Living with/close to yourself. Being attuned to what is in your mind and heart, to what you are thinking… what you are feeling.
I like that. A lot.
In the age of distractions, with widespread epidemic of diversions of all kinds, there is a continual current of ‘being absent’ – first to oneself, but then, in a cascading reverberation, to the people we meet on the streets, in the stores, people we sit next to in the churches and business meetings; people we share our home, dinner table and bed with.
And through it all, perhaps, maybe foremost, absent to God. The One who chose to declare, to reveal Himself as I AM. Ever present Presence.
Not too many people seem to be terribly concerned with this plague of absence. It doesn’t reach the news. It doesn’t trend or go viral on social media. Nobody is sounding the alarm nor sees it as a possible root of much ill that torments our world today.
When my sister came to stay with us, she was so fully present – body, mind, soul and spirit – to the best of her abilities, according to the need of moment, for the entire duration of her visit.
Attentive. Available. Bringing no agenda of her own... Just being here with all her faculties, ready to listen, ready to serve in ways practical or profound. Serious or silly.
Even more shockingly, she was willing to not do, not serve, not ‘help’ if the doing and the serving and the ‘helping’ wasn’t really helpful. If it was more for the sake of the ‘helper’ than for the one on the receiving end of such ‘gift’.
Her being present to herself, and then, in turn, present to me and each member of our family had cascading results felt by each of us, although some of us may not have recognized them as such. We simply enjoyed the many varied benefits of such delightful person who happened to be our family, much in the same way we enjoy a good meal without thinking too much about what it took to get the meal from the barns and fields through the kitchen onto our dinner plate.
It gave me a rather striking visual of what living with Jesus, His Spirit always present, attentive, available, ready, may look like…
…if we choose to be present – truly present - to ourselves and to Him…