These two words, mindfulness and fulfillment, have been ringing in my thoughts lately. A recent email I received defined mindfulness as: a practice that enhances your ability to be able to bring yourself in the present and step back from the “noise” that can affect how you experience the people and situations around you. It allows you to gain perspective, so that you’re responding to situations intentionally, instead of based on knee-jerk reactions.
That email served as a reminder to remain mindful of the people around me and be in the moment. We’re all familiar with being stuck in our phones, scrolling to the next Corgi or recipe video.
I’m also reading a book that talks about fulfillment. Christian Author Jennie Allen said it well: “To prove yourself a committed follower of Jesus, you APPARENTLY need to have a stable job in the right field, be registered for the proper political party, have the appropriate friends, and a modest savings account. God forgive us for suggesting that fulfillment comes more from the life we build here than in the life that waits for us with Him. We are utterly sick from self-absorption…Somehow we miss that the most exciting, fulfilling rush of an experience comes in following the spirit of God.”
What Jennie was getting at is that Jesus promises fulfillment. It isn’t found in the things the world prizes. True fulfillment means we have the ability to live present in both positive and negative experiences.
A couple of weeks ago, after finals week, I went on a disaster relief trip in lower SC with college students from all over the state to help victims of the recent Hurricane Matthew. For five days, students remained UNPLUGGED from their phones. Granted, we were busy working 8 a.m.-6 p.m. and were exhausted at dinner time. But there was something cool about fully being present, knowing everyone’s minds were in the same place, as we chatted, laughed, and bonded after a day’s work. It was different from the world we’d return to after the trip.
Jesus set a good example. He lived with peaceful joy. He lived fully. He created
unforgettable moments and enjoyed the people around Him. One of my favorite passages is when Jesus made breakfast. Yep, BREAKFAST was prepared by JESUS, the savior of the world. In John 21, it says, “Jesus said to them (his disciples), ‘Come and have breakfast.'” It’s simple but there’s something sort of awesome about Jesus partaking in a simple human need; He made breakfast, which I imagine was delicious, for those he cared about. Jesus took pleasure in making food, the thing that has always brought people together.
I keep revisiting these words and experiences over the past few days, so I wanted to record them in blog-form.
This post could perhaps be inspiration to be mindful and strive for fulfillment in Christ, but it’s mainly a challenge to myself for later down the road. I’ve found myself praying for peace and joy lately, both of which result from where time and energy is spent. In striving to use Jesus’ examples and not conform to the world, I want to give more of myself (my presence and attention), rather than focusing on excessive consumption of temporary things. I want to be with my people and scroll less. I want to prioritize time in my bible. I want to want God more. I want to not be addicted to my phone (because I am). I want to listen to my people. I want to choose God over this world daily.
“If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.” –C . S. Lewis