Rev. Dr. Chuck Moffett
A TV commercial of several years ago zoomed in a lone salesperson behind a stark metallic desk housing a bank of black desktop phones. As the phones rang in succession, the salesperson responded: “Paris on Monday?”; “Dallas on Tuesday?”; “LA on Wednesday?,”; New York on Thursday?,”; “London on Friday?” Each request was answered with an enthusiastic, “I can do that!” The commercial ends with the bewildered salesperson exclaiming: “How can I do that?” Then came the pitch for the product.
So often you and I look at our schedules and wonder, “How can I do all that?” The answer is: it cannot be done! We cannot meet the needs of all. I would invite us to take the advice for ministry I received: “consider carefully where you need to be present.” I try to choose well where a simple ministry of “presence” makes a difference. My ministry is one of “presence, not merely one of “words.”
Each of us have many demands on our time. It is most important for us to choose where to be present…and why. On what values do you choose to be “present” with certain people, or at certain events? Who is being served by your presence: others, or self? Are you intentionally expanding your sphere of contacts to be “present” with those who may feel out of the welcome circle? Are you being “present” with those who hold different viewpoints than yours, to learn who they are as persons? Do you reach into the community, as you can, to be “present” with those who need more than a handout? Where, and with whom, are you challenging yourself to be present as a person of grace and compassion?
Our God has chosen intentionally to be very present with us. It is our choice whether or not we will receive the “presence” of God’s spirit in our lives. Let us choose wisely.