Learning to Be Present Now

I just returned from the Catalyst Conference in Dallas where I spoke on the topic of my new book, Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World. The theme for this year’s conference series is “Be Present.”

Enjoying the Sun -Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/anouchka, Image #3781332

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/anouchka

This is a particularly powerful reminder for me. I seem to be always living in the future. I’m either planning my next big project or worried about how it will turn out.

But this reminds me that all I really have is now. The past is gone. The future is not guaranteed. This moment is a gift.

Maybe that’s why it’s called “the present.”

Every now and then we get a reminder about how fragile life is. We just can’t take it for granted. Each moment is precious.

For example, several years ago I was attending the early service at our church. My family was coming later in a separate car and had not yet arrived.

About twenty minutes into the service, one of my friends walked up behind me and whispered in my ear, “Michael, your family has been in a car accident. You need to leave now!

This is about the worst possible news I could imagine receiving. Unfortunately, he didn’t have any details. The wreck had occurred about two miles from our church.

I raced to the scene of the accident. But the traffic was backed up. I suspected it was because of the wreck. I parked my car on the side of the road and started running.

My heart was pounding. My mind was racing. I imagined the worst.

After running about a hundred yards, I saw a fire truck, police cars, and my family’s Suburban laying upside down against a telephone pole. It was completely crushed. All the windows were blown out and the roof had collapsed into the body.

Initially, I was confused, because I didn’t see my family. Then I heard my youngest daughter, Marissa, scream, “Daddy, Daddy.” I looked to my right, and she was running down the hill toward me—arms outstretched and crying.

Just beyond her, the other five members of my family were seated on the grass. They too were crying.

I scooped up my daughter and kept running toward my family. I couldn’t believe it. There wasn’t a scratch on any of them. They were shook up, to be sure, but no one was hurt.

As I later learned, my oldest daughter, Megan, had been driving. It was a country road. She veered off the pavement for a second, over-corrected, and then flipped the car. It had smashed into a telephone pole.

The sheriff told me that when he arrived on the scene, he called the life flight unit. He was just sure that the people in the car were either critically injured or dead. He kept describing what had happened as “a miracle.”

Indeed it was. I still tear up thinking about it.

That experience made me realize (once again) just how precious my family and friends are. I want to treasure every moment—and be present to them now.

The future will take care of itself. I want to learn to be present now.

Question: To whom do you need to be present today? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
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  • http://jonstolpe.com/ Jon Stolpe

    I need to be present with my wife and kids.  It can be so easy to get caught up in the world of ME instead of the world of WE.  It sounds like the conference provides some great reminders.  Thanks for passing them along!

    • http://www.leahadams.org/ Leah Adams

      Yes, Jon. The world of ME all too often screams the loudest.

    • http://www.distillingwords.com/ Chris Lovie-Tyler

      You took the words out of my mouth, Jon. :)

      And, thanks for this potent reminder, Michael.

  • http://deuceology.wordpress.com Larry Carter

    It’s always key to be there for your family. I want to be there for my friends and my team today too.

  • http://www.godsabsolutelove.com/ Patricia Zell

    I think we believers sometimes miss the importance of today. One of my favorite passages in the Bible, Deuteronomy 30:15-20, includes the words, “See, I (God) have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil…therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live…that thou mayest cleave unto him (God) because he is thy life…”

    I have no idea what is going to happen in the future, but today, I choose life. And, since every day is today, every day I have life and blessings (which is why Christ came–John 10:10). I have found that by me loving God with everything I have and cleaving to Him, everything else falls into place.

    • http://itinerantblogger.wordpress.com/ Reed Hanson

      Thanks for sharing this Patricia. Right on.

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

      Love those verses.

    • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

       That passage was on my mind earlier this week. I couple that with “… now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation …” (2 Corinthians 6:2b NIV).

  • http://www.facebook.com/danieltrinidad82 Daniel Trinidad

    This is a good reminder about valuing what is important today. Thanks Mike!

  • http://www.facebook.com/mike.dellosso1 Mike Dellosso

    Cancer taught me to take one day at a time. To live for today, looking forward to tomorrow, with no regrets left in the past. My wife and four daughters need me PRESENT every day, living the moment with them, enjoying our life together each we’re given it.

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

       Yep, cancer does that. Makes every day much too valuable to rush through or miss.

      • Dan Erickson

        I’m teach communication and public speaking, too, Michele.

        • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

          Nice to meet you, Dan!

    • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

       Just visited my younger brother who was recently diagnosed with cancer. I wanted to be present with him. I know we have no guarantee of tomorrow. I am thankful he was fully present as well. We had a great time going to a minor league baseball game, talking, and enjoying the experience.

  • http://www.SiaKnight.com/ Sia Knight

    Another great wake-up call, Michael!

  • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

    I need to be present to my wife. It’s a blessing that she sticks with me through thick and thin. Being present, to me, means putting away the phones, getting off the computer, and focusing on her. 

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

       Joe,
      I am with you!

  • http://www.writechangegrow.com/ Thea | Write Change Grow

    Hi Michael
    Gosh just reading that got my heart pounding! That would be truly terrifying.  I am so glad everyone was all right.  Moments like that certainly remind us what is important in life and that we can’t take things for granted. Thanks for the reminder to live in the present.
    Cheers
    Thea

  • http://chrisvonada.info/ chris vonada

    Wow, that’s an incredible story… I will take heed and be present to my closest loved ones today!

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

       Good for you, Chris!

  • http://missionallendale.wordpress.com/ Joey Espinosa

    My wife and kids for sure. I know I take them, and my time with them, for granted way too much.

  • http://www.eileenknowles.com/ Eileen

    Life is definitely a gift.  Once I had my son it seems like someone came along and pressed the fast forward button, time is flying by.  I don’t  want  miss out on any of it.   Thanks for this reminder. 

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      It goes SOOOOO quickly. It seems like I blinked, and my daughters were grown.

      • http://www.kellycombs.com/ Kelly Combs

        This is a 30 second car commercial, but it chokes me up because it illustrates so perfectly how quickly they grow up, and the love of daddys and their daughters. 
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2qf8OGLqE1s

        • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

           Kelly,
          I love that commercial! My daughter is only 10, but in the blink of an eye she is going to be 16.  The thought excites and terrifies me!

          • http://www.kellycombs.com/ Kelly Combs

            Barry,
            My daughter is 12, the legal age to ride in the front seat in our state. Right before she turned 12 I said, “Just think, before long you’ll be up front in the passenger seat.” And she said, “And after that I’ll be in the driver’s seat!” Exciting? Yes. Terrifying? Yes!

  • http://www.leahadams.org/ Leah Adams

    I need to be present with my mother. I don’t do a good job of this with her at all. She and I are a lot alike and my patience runs short with her, therefore I tend to avoid spending a lot of time with her. She was a wonderful wife to my Daddy and a great mother to my sister and me. I need to be present with her. Thanks for the conviction, Mr. Hyatt.

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

      Reading your comment sent a waves of chills up my arm. You’re right–our older generation needs us to see and be present with them!

    • Bev

      Leah, Being a lot alike can be a real complement. Show up and spend time with her out of the blue. Take her for a girls pedicure or a lunch together. Don’t argue with her no matter how tempted. And while you are sitting there at lunch tell her how much you love her and that you would like for the both of you to see the best in each other and no compete (which happens a lot when you are so much alike). Then do something that a wise, Godly woman told me to do with my Mom (we too were so much alike). Quit trying to get from her what you think you need and give her what you know she needs. When you give, you receive back ( from the Lord for sure and sometimes from others). Enjoy having your mother here on this earth because when she is gone you will miss her terribly! I know!

      • http://www.leahadams.org/ Leah Adams

        Bev, I’m assuming you were trying to be helpful with your comments. I don’t argue with my mother. I do tell her how much I love her. I don’t try to get from her what I think I need (whatever that means) because only Jesus can give me what I need. I know the pain of losing a parent…I lost my Daddy seven years ago. Most of my issues with my mom stay in my head and heart and that is where I must fight the battle. In many ways, it is a compliment that I am like my mother. She is precious to many, many people. May God bless your ministry, Bev.

  • http://www.robsorbo.com/p/welcome-from-disqus.html Rob Sorbo

    I’m pulled in a dozen different directions and not completely present in any of them.

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

       Rob,
      I am sooooo bad at that too! I feel like I am always thing about what needs to be done or the vision of how I want things to be. Being here and now is difficult.

  • http://www.struggletovictory.com/ Kari Scare

    Being present for my family and for my friends, many of whom are really struggling with life right now, is so important. Unfortunately, I too often focus on the future at the expense of the present. Actually wrote a post a while pack titled “5 Principles for Focusing on the Now” in an attempt to help change that habit. This post is a great reminder to revisit that idea in my life. I’m also realizing how much I need to be present now in my relationship with Christ. I focus on the past and my mistakes, and I focus on what I want Him to do for me, but I sometimes fail to focus on Him in the moment. I’m missing out on something…

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I’d love to read that post. I was going to add something like that at the end, but decided to let the story stand on its own.

      • http://www.struggletovictory.com/ Kari Scare

        You post lives and breathes well on its own, so right choice there. Very effective! The link is http://www.struggletovictory.com/sunday-reflections-5-principles-for-focusing-on-the-now/ if you get time to check it out. Would love to hear what you think.

        • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

          Kari,
          I loved your post! #5 spoke the loudest to me. I often think the reason that I have a hard time focusing on the present is because I have so much going on that I am never “finished.” Ya know?

          When I get home I always feel like there is more to do, and the pressure of life keeps me looking forward. Choosing simplicity i think would help a lot.

          • http://www.struggletovictory.com/ Kari Scare

            Yeah, I know. Completely. I’ve been on a simplicity journey for the over two years now and have actually written about it within a lot of my posts. The topic is so important to me, and I feel so strongly about it, that I focused on it for a series too. This isn’t a plug for my blog, please know that. My point is that pursuing and choosing simplicity is one of they major ways God has brough peace and joy into my life. I asked, and He delivered.

    • http://www.blissfulblunders.com/ Beth Morse

       I’d also love to read that post!

      • http://www.struggletovictory.com/ Kari Scare

        Just left the link in my response above. Would love to hear what you think!

        • matthewsnyder

          Great post, Kari! I love your first principle – it’s one I hold near and dear to my heart.

          • http://www.struggletovictory.com/ Kari Scare

            Thanks! Relationships should be our #1 priority… they are for Jesus!

          • matthewsnyder

            Amen and amen ;)

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Patti-Schieringa/100000060620784 Patti Schieringa

      I appreciate how God orchestrates blessings in my life. This timely reminder is one of them. I am waiting for my son to wake up. I have the privilege to care for him after his cancer surgery.  I do need to make a list of things to do today. Yesterday With no TV, he opted to watch the Jesus video. ..and prayed with the invitation at the end.  We have prayer warriors praying he remain strong in the face of a New-age step-mom who tells him he doesn’t need that Jesus bologney.  
      I canceled my commitments for two weeks until he can return to his apartment. 
         I thank God and you Micheal for your messages and especially this one.
      Patti Schieringa, a budding writer.

      • http://www.struggletovictory.com/ Kari Scare

        Your comment is a blessing to me today as well as a reminder to be grateful! Thank you for sharing that. I pray that you will be a strong, godly influence on your son and that he will rely on God through his cancer treatment. I pray that he is protected from Satan’s lies and that he focuses on God’s truth. Your writing is probably proving to be great therapy to you in this trial. God’s blessing to you today!

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Patti-Schieringa/100000060620784 Patti Schieringa

      I took time to check your post, Struggle to Victory. I agree we should aim as you suggest. All of your points are worth thinking about. I like Michael’s way of taking just one topic and discussing it.  I have a tendency to tackle many things at once. So I am breaking my aims into bite-size- now pieces. 
      Your 5 principles sound like a life plan.
      Notice, my name sounds like Sceering-guh. 
      What a Friend in Jesus…Our burdens to share. 

      • http://www.struggletovictory.com/ Kari Scare

        Thank you for taking the time to check it out. Michael definitely does a terrific job.

  • FGHart

    The timing of this post is perfect for my NOW. Because I’m in the middle of a transition, I find my attention divided between what was and what will be. Which is not helpful for the now moments. Thanks for the reminder.

  • http://www.lifepouredout.org/ Jozeca Lathrop

    I need to be present with those I’m with for only a short time.  I consider myself long-term in Colombia, but in two weeks I’ll be traveling home to be with my family and friends for a few months. It’s hard not to focus the majority of my energy in thinking of “home” rather than taking advantage of the short time I have here!  I am reading “Beyond the Gates of Splendor” and was challenged once again by the Jim Elliott quote I’ve heard many times: “Wherever you are, be all there. Live to the hilt whatever situation you believe to be the will of God.”  If I believe being here in Colombia these next two weeks is the will of God, I need to be “all here.” Thanks for the reminder!

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

      Love that quote. Thanks for the reminder.

  • Ben Holbrook

    Just about to take some time out of work to read at my sons school. It’s a little bit of a sacrifice time wise, and the challenge will be switching of from work, however I want to be ‘ present’in those early years.thanks

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I took my girls to school every morning for about three years. We had a very long commute. It was a God-send. It really helped me connect to them.

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

       Awesome, What book? You are so wise to really cherish this time!
      Thanks, Ben!

  • http://www.lincolnparks.com Lincoln Parks

    This is something that I realized daily just this year. I need to be more present with my wife and daughter. My work did not matter, it just mattered that I needed to spend more time with them and cherish every moment of time with them. Every morning my wife takes my daughter to school and I always wonder what if its the last time I see them. Did I love them fully? Would they know how deeply I love them? Every moment I get I try to show them, I can’t live without them. Thanks Michael!

  • http://www.peaceforthejourney.com/ elaine @ peace for the journey

    An incredible reminder for me this morning to be present in every moment. As a cancer survivor, I’ve learned to value my moments. That being said, it’s often a short leap from what’s most important to what’s worrisome. So in regards to your question, I need to “present” with Jesus today and allow him to shape my vision for the hours in front of me. Whenever I shift my focus off of God and his plans for my life, I quickly get off track. Thanks!

    peace~elaine 

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Me too!

  • http://www.thenancyway.com/ Nancy Roe

    If you only knew how much I needed to read your article!  Sometimes I can’t sleep at night thinking of all of the things I need to do.  A lot of times I miss the little things because I’m focused on “what might happen.”  Thanks for the wake-up call!  My husband and dog thank you too!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      You’re welcome. I’m glad it was timely.

  • Lauren

    So, so true. I lost my father earlier this year to leukemia. During the weeks of caring for him in home hospice, I was acutely aware of the value of each moment he was lucid. We made the most of those precious moments. I just realized that I have drifted back to my old habits of putting deadlines before family time. Your post was a valuable reminder. I need to be intentionally present every day. Thanks for the nudge!

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

      It’s so easy to slip back into those bad habits, lose the preciousness of the moment. I’ve done the same recently.

  • http://twitter.com/EditorJamieC Jamie Clarke Chavez

    This made me cry, Mike. It’s a powerful reminder. Thank you.

  • http://successbeginstoday.org/wordpress John Richardson

    Wow, scary story Michael! As for me, a speaker at a conference  back in 2003 walked down the aisle, stopped in front of me and asked… “What time is it?” He then looked at my name tag, and in a very loud voice made it personal, “John, what time is it?” His point was simple. We can only do things today. We can’t do them yesterday, or tomorrow. And the only time we can take action is NOW.

    Those four words went on to change my life.

    I had been living my days in the future.

    In a place called Tomorrow Isle

    A place that looks very rosy

    But action never happens

    I was on vacation

    From life.

    When I started to live in the present, big changes happened in my world. I was suddenly doing instead of dreaming, and living instead of longing. By focusing on the process, not the product, I’ve found I can live fully in each moment.

    An interesting book on the subject, is The Practicing Mind, by Thomas Sterner. In it he talks about the principle of practice — picking a goal and applying steady effort to reach it.

    We all need to make time and be fully present with our family and friends on a regular basis. That is a goal truly worth achieving!

    • http://www.kellycombs.com/ Kelly Combs

      Very rich comment, John.  Like poetry, and very true. Thanks for sharing it.

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

       John,
      Great story! “What time is it?” I am going to remember that!

  • Johnm

    I need to be present with my wife. I tend to spend my time in the past and as you remind me it’s done, I can’t do anything about that. Your story is very touching and something I never want to experience. However the truth is it could happen to any of us at any time and because of that we need to embrace the “present”. Thanks for sharing this good word.

  • L2hess

    Very timely post for me – thank you. I am preparing to retire, and sometimes future plans overtake, well, everything. In part, it’s a way of dealing with what I am leaving behind, but it sometimes puts a wall between me and those around me, particularly when it becomes a single-minded pursuit. Thanks for the reminder to enjoy the now.

  • Jboney

    We need to be present to everyone in all that we do. That  means not checking your phone for texts or messages while you’re talking with someone, not being distracted by TV while someone is talking to you.Be present when your children come home from school and tell you about their day – put own what you are doing and listen. Give everyone your all in each and every encounter you have. BE HERE NOW -Be Present

  • Beth Morse

    I truly need to be ever more present with my son.  I’ve been so focused on how to make life better for us and what I need to do AND not actually DOING it,  I often just missed what he said to me. :/

    I’ve heard this ‘BE PRESENT’ *often* lately. Clearly, someone is trying to tell me something! Maybe it’s time to actively listen.

    Thank you for the reminder. Blessings!

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

      When it comes to our children, we often work so hard to “provide” and give them a good life, that we fail to realize they want more of us, not more stuff.

  • http://www.kellycombs.com/ Kelly Combs

    You got me at, “Daddy, Daddy.” *sniff* 

    The number one way I believe we can all be present is simple. PUT DOWN THE SMART PHONE! We are all so “connected” to the net that we are completely disconnected from real life.  My goal for my friends and family is eye contact. Simple. Yet, how often are we checking our phone, or for me, packing a lunch or making a meal or multi-tasking, while someone is speaking to us.

    Put down the smart phone. Make eye contact. Be present. 

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

       Ouch! Yeah, put down the phone… That’s a great challenge, and one that I have been thinking about for a while. I need to think though a plan for that. Maybe when I get home at 5:00 till my kids go to bed, at around 7:30-8:00, maybe I will dock my phone?

  • http://www.jondale.com Jon Dale

    Thanks Mike, I needed to start my day off with a good cry. I had a similar experience when my wife was in an accident 15 years ago.

    Such a good reminder. Thanks.

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

       Is your wife okay? What was your biggest takeaway from that experience, now that you’re 15 years down the road?

      • http://www.jondale.com Jon Dale

        Yep, she’s great. The big bonus from that was finding out she was pregnant at the time. So our take away was our oldest daughter.

        • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

          Yes, I’d say that’s a pretty significant takeaway. :)

  • http://www.chaplainmike.com/ Mike Hansen

    Oh this is so true! Working in a hospital I see tragedy on  a regular basis and the time I’ve been doing this work has taught me exactly what you write about Michael. Life is a gift and the human body can be so fragile. Human life and our relationships can be so fragile.

    It’s always a good-no, GREAT-idea to tell people you care about that you do. Tell your loved ones that they are. ALWAYS say goodbye and “I love you” because we just don’t know. We just don’t know.

    Please, please, please make God and people you’re top priorities. A job, a car, a house can all be replaced, but those never can.

    Thanks for sharing!

    • http://jeremystatton.com/ Jeremy Statton

      Thanks for the work you do as a hospital chaplain, Mike.

  • http://www.fieldofdebt.com/ Jen McDonough

    Michael,
    I swear I was just praying this morning before I read your blog that I need to continously remind myself to stay in the present, espeically when it comes to my family.

  • Ms. Robin Louise Merrill

    Present, a gift! ; “GOD!” “SIMPLICITY AT “HIS”, FINEST!!! MS.ROBIN LOUISE MERRILL. 05-10-2012

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000063241091 Chaplain F Donald-Coleman

    WOW I had the exact same experience last year! August 14, 2011 my daughters were in a near fatal accidents the police and firemen on the thought it was a fatal accident. One of the daughters was jammed up in the car and had to be cut out the car. It took them 45 minutes to cut her out! I saw her for 45 minutes no movement color gray as if she were dead. My family began to pray in the spirit and call her name we know God gave her back to us! She still has a long way to go but she is alive and has resumed some normallacy in life she can walk most of the time without and tools. She now cooks although in stages she takes care of her children. She is able to drive. Their accident was caused by one car which hit them causing them to loose control of the car the younger daughter was driving she as she tried to manevuer into the turning lane there was an regain control of the car a car on the other side had a young man who was playing with the car going from lane to lane who came into the lane the same time she did causing the near fatal accident. I thank God everyday for miracles one that I saw with my own eye. As I stood at the scene in my spirit I saw Jesus calling Lazarus from the dead and even though there were people around us going crazy we stayed focused and prayed asking God to have mercy and he did! What an awesome God we serve. Thanks for sharing your story!

    • http://jeremystatton.com/ Jeremy Statton

      Glad to hear your daughters are okay. What a blessing.

  • Ksine

    Wow, powerful story, I have one very similar so I can relate. Thanks for sharing this post it is a great reminder

  • http://www.facebook.com/JChadBarrett Chad Barrett

    Thanks Michael! Living in the present has become our focus as we deal with our daughter who has cancer. Her future is uncertain. But God gives us grace for the present. And His grace is abundant. We’re learning to not focus on the future because we don’t know what it is. All we know is that God knows. And He gives us grace for today.

    Thanks for this reminder this morning, brother. So true. So profound.

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

       Manna from heaven. Enough for today, just today.

  • Louise Behiel

    I’m single and my kids are all grown with families of their own.  I need to be present to them in my thoughts and prayers.  i need to be present to my co-workers and the team I manage and i need to be present to God and myself.  not necessarily in that order

  • Maryf Allen

    I use to make shop lists while listening to a sermon, read while cooking, and play computer games while talking with my 100 year-old-aunt. God convicted me of that and taught me to live in the present. So I started taking sermon notes, listening to music while concentrating on cooking, and really listening. It takes effort sometimes, but I feel as if I’m really in the moment now living with fewer regrets and more patience. Thanks for this post, it’s a good reminder at a time when life is speeding up and I’m torn between two things to pay attention to what I’m doing right now.

  • http://wordsofwilliams.com/ Eric Williams

    Isn’t it amazing how God gets our attention sometimes? So thankful that your family was OK.

  • Cory Kent

    Wow- powerful story, Michael. Thank you for sharing it. So applicable for me right now.

  • matthewsnyder

    What an amazingly powerful story! It makes me think twice about how I’m spending my time and where my priorities lie. I want to invest in people, not making money. Eesh – this is  a good challenge.

    I think I’ll start today by spending some quality time with my fiancee… 

    • http://jeremystatton.com/ Jeremy Statton

      It is powerful! All we really have is right now.

  • http://exciramedia.com/ Shannon Steffen

    Thank you so much, Michael, for opening yourself and your experience to us.

    At this very moment, my husband is sick and we can’t figure out what’s wrong with him. Normally, this wouldn’t be much of a concern to most but he has Cystic Fibrosis and is the recipient of a double-lung transplant (in 2004). He has no auto-immune system because of the medications and my heart is heavy.

    At the same time, my dad is 900 miles away and just had his first cancerous tumor removed yesterday from his throat. He is now in recovery but, again, my heart is heavy as I can’t be with him during this time.

    Why do I mention these things? Because every moment is truly a blessing and we so often look away from the miracles that are in front of our own eyes. My husband should have died in 2002, when he was put on life support for 9 months and waited 3.5 years for his miracle transplant. My dad, being an avid smoker since the age of 12 has been running from one minute to the next and never savors any particular moment in time.

    My heart may be heavy with fear and a bit of anger but my love triumphs everything else. I look back, at this moment in my life and cannot believe how many moments of health, laughter and joy I’ve truly missed on experiencing because I’ve been so busy looking at the future.

    We are never happy where we are until we realize that every moment is a true gift. Yes, we need to keep going during the difficult times but we should never push away even the smallest bit of joy in a moment for a future that may never come.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  • MargaretEvanow

    My initial response is my daughter.  But, giving it more thought, I need to be present to myself and my own needs.  Many times we “selflessly” focus on being present to others, our spouse, children, friends, which is all good.  BUT, being present to the interplay between our inner and physical selves and the universal energy, that is where I must begin.

  • Kim Hall

     So glad your family was ok.
    Our moments of inattention can be inconsequential or annoying, such as surfing when we are also chatting with a family member. They can also be deadly, when we drift during driving or operating potentially dangerous machinery.

    For me, it’s about being present for my folks. My dad just had surgery, and my mom is taking care of him. Anything I can do to really listen and hear the needs so I can help fill them is a real blessing to them both.

    • http://jeremystatton.com/ Jeremy Statton

      What a blessing to take care of those who took care of us. Thanks for sharing, Kim.

  • Amy

    Wow, thank you for sharing this story.  A great reminder to be “present” with my family and friends, prioritizing them above a phone/computer/ipod screen.

  • http://jeremystatton.com/ Jeremy Statton

    I used to work as an orthopedic trauma surgeon. I have been witness to stories like yours as well as stories that did not have a happy ending. Second chances (or 3rd or 4th or5th) are a tremendous blessing. Thanks for the reminder to fully embrace life now.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=708525388 Stacey Lozano

    I am currently working hard to be present tom y children. My oldest leaves for the military at the end of the summer so this is a huge season of change. Trying not to think of each day as our last of normalcy, I work hard to enjoy each day now and then look forward to whatever is coming. Thank you for the reminder that NOW is important.

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

      It’s difficult not to allow an impending circumstance, a future date on the calendar interfere with today’s joy, isn’t it? One of my biggest challenges. That day at the end of summer will come, but it’s not today!

  • Becki

    Tearing up with you, Michael.  My first grandchild was born May 4 amidst a myriad of complications.  As an OB nurse myself,  and their labor support, I found myself at times, rushing into the future in my mind.  Fortunately, the following is a personal mantra of mine, useful for just such situations: “Just for today I will try to live through this day only, and not tackle all my problems at once. I can do something for twelve hours that would appall me if I felt that I had to keep it up for a lifetime.”  Today?  Baby and Mama (and grammy!) are doing just fine; full of thanksgiving are we!

  • Paula Davis

    In my life I realize I struggle with being present with where God has me today. As a single adult who desires a Godly mate I often live in the realm of “if I had a husband” or “some day when I’m married” instead of living today in it’s fullness and doing what God is asking me to do today. There are lives He can bless through me and I am not allowing Him to if I don’t pay attention.

    • http://www.heartyourchurch.com/ Jason Stambaugh

      When our present circumstances fall short of our vision/hopes/dreams it is really easy to neglect the present. Regardless, there is still a lot of good work to be done NOW. Thanks for sharing. 

  • Todd

    A local senior (Godly young man and son of a local pastor) died this week in the exact same type of car accident so this post hits close to home. Living in the present is so important. We aren’t guaranteed anything else and must trust that God is sovereign of these tragic moments. This is where faith is truly played out.

  • http://twitter.com/Timbuktoons Timbuktoons

    Great post Michael and very fitting since we’re working through your Life Plan e-book…helps us keep perspectives and priorities in line. Plus you broke out some classic Oogway from Kung-Fu Panda…”maybe that’s why it’s called ‘the present.'” http://undertheoasis.com/2011/04/20/oogway/

  • James Stewart

    Thanks for sharing this, I’m going to Alabama to visit for mothers day, going to be present in the now with the family instead of focusing on the future. Like you said…the future will take care of itself.

  • http://www.joyjoyg.com/ Joy Groblebe

    Michael – thanks for sharing this story….it was dynamic and you had me very engaged!  :)
    For me, staying in the present is really difficult because my whole job is focused on “the future”.  Getting things organized and put together for future events.  Often, things are happening in the present that I have to force myself to make a priority.  My old boss taught me a lesson that I always use to help me make decisions on what to focus on….usually when trying to decide between work and my family.  She said, “What will you remember in five years.”  That is REALLY helpful to me.  For example…while it meant that I had to leave a ton of emails in my in-box until later in the day, I chose to go to my son’s field trip to the zoo for 3 hours on Wednesday.  In five years, the emails will be forgotten, but the memory I made with Jacob at the zoo will continue.  Sometimes work has to come first and sometimes it’s family that wins out. Using this principle really helps me keep things in check.

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

       GREAT question.

  • Pauline Logan

    Thank you, Michael, for this timely post. Marilou Henner mentioned on a TV talk show recently that one of the ways she enhances her memory is by being present in the moments of her life. (She has a phenomenal memory and is even able to remember what day of the week an event in her life occurred!)
     
    As for me, I would like to be more present for my neighbors. I tend to rush out of the apartment building just in time to make it to an appointment, leaving little or no time to talk with a neighbor as I leave. Then when I return home, I’m often tired and eager to go rest in my apartment. So I’d like to form a habit of buffering my outings with “social time” for talking to people along my path. I know that I would be happier if I formed this habit, and I would bless others too.

  • http://jonathanfosteronline.com/ Jonathan Foster

    Wow. This has been on my mind a lot lately.
    Thanks, Michael for the emotional reminder to treasure my family today.

  • http://www.themakegoodchoicesproject.org/ Michael Hawkins

    I need to be present to whomever I’m communicating with.  Whether it’s in person, on the phone or in an email message.  The communication needs to intentionally focused on the person on the other end of message.

    Many times I short-change my wife and sons (11 and 17) when I talk with them.  That’s a bad habit that I need to break.  My weak excuse for that is because I have so many things to do and think about.  But the most important thing I need to do is — BE PRESENT! 

    Thanks for another great wake-up call, Michael. 

  • Lorna Faith

    That’s amazing Michael…thanks for sharing! Since last summer I have learned to enjoy each day as a miracle as our two teenagers were in a high-speed bicycle accident on July 31, 2011. They were riding the same bike downhill(my son remembers they were going fast enough to pass cars),hit a curb and flew onto the pavement…all without helmets:(  They were rushed to the hospital…our 15yr. old girl, Atlee had moderate head trauma and our 14 yr. old son, Saejal had a concussion. They were both covered in road rash too. God is definitely a miracle worker, because the Drs. thought for sure Atlee would not be able to function normally, but now only a few months later, all her short term memory has returned and she no longer has trouble concentrating. So…life is such a gift…thankyou so much for this reminder today…perfect timing! 

    • http://jeremystatton.com/ Jeremy Statton

      Wow, lorna. Glad they are both okay. Thanks for the reminder about the gift.

  • http://juliesunne.com/ Julie Sunne

    There are so many things demanding our attention; it is extremely difficult to be present. I need to work on it with my husband and children. Honestly, I’m better with others.
    I have been striving to be totally present with the Lord during my prayer time–that has been hard as well, but I’m getting closer.

  • http://www.christopherneiger.com/ Chris Neiger

    Thanks for sharing that story and for the important reminder. I get caught up in planning the future way too much.

  • http://xpressionswithapurpose.wordpress.com/ Stephey630

    This is such a timely post!  As a planner, I, too, get ‘caught up’ in my projects often worrying about competing deadlines and whether I will meet them!

    I recently had a very similar reminder of the importance of the present and the ‘gift of life’ when my youngest daughter and I were in a two car collision where both cars were totaled!

    As I wrestled with the how and why of this event, I was able to find reasons to be grateful for ‘what was and not what could have been’!

    This brought me back to the present and all the wonderful people supportive people in my life.

    Thanks for this added reminder!

    • http://jeremystatton.com/ Jeremy Statton

      I can identify with being a planner. I’m glad to hear that both  you and your daughter are okay.

  • Tammy B.

    It seems as if the challenge is to be fully present, wherever we  are, and whoever we’re with.  We all have many people and situations that require our presence.  I try to concentrate on what is right in front of me, without being distracted by all the other things in life; sort-of like compartmentalizing in order to do my best at work, to leave work where it belongs, to soak up my husband when we’re together, to fully enjoy my kids and grandkids, and to treasure every moment with my parents and my brother’s family while they are here in this world.

    None of us get it right all of the time, to be sure.  But that notion of living intentionally and focusing only on what’s in the segment of time I’m in is very powerful for me. 

    Multi-tasking isn’t all it’s cracked up to be!!!

    • Jim Martin

      Tammy, I really like this sentence.  It is a good reminder.

      “But that notion of living intentionally and focusing only on what’s in the segment of time I’m in is very powerful for me.”

  • http://twitter.com/jerburroughs Jeremy Burroughs

    Great reminder Michael. Thank you! This article makes me want to tell others in my life how much I love them.

  • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

    Michael,
    You also mentioned being present in meetings a little while back, too. I admit that sometimes if I am in a meeting, and I don’t think it’s pertinent, I sometimes “check-out” instead of trying to advance the discussion or goals. That’s also something I am trying to work on. I know it’s A LOT more pedestrian of an example that yours, but it’s something that stuck.

  • http://www.brianhinkley.com/ Brian Hinkley

    Although I have never experienced this, my heart always skips a beat when a loved one is late and I hear a siren.

  • Ayoade Oluwasanmi

    Reading your story, I was nearly moved to tears. Just like you I thought that the story ended in tragedy. I’m not married yet but I want to be present for my siblings and my parents. My parents are in their 70’s and I wirry that they will go before they see me become all that I know God is making me. I have lost a nephew and I think I need to be more grateful for the time I get to spend with my family

  • Integritydev

    Leadership PRESENCE is one of the key elements of Authentic Leadership in my business.  The value of Presence and being Present even when one is not physically present is a skill et and a conscious focus for Authentic Leaders.

  • coachbyron

    This is a great reminder for me, especially when I am with my kids.  My little daughter (6 yrs) made the comment that “daddy” is always looking at his iphone.  Man that crushed me because she was right.  When I am with her now I have to be intentional to be completely present because I will not get these years back.  My phone goes in my bag. She’s growing so fast.  I want to make sure I cherish every moment.  Thanks for the post!

    • Jim Martin

      Byron, I appreciate this story.  Next week, I will be with my two daughters and their husbands and our grandson.  Your comment is a reminder to me to put away the phone.  Thanks!

  • http://www.shannonmilholland.blogspot.com Shannon Milholland

    Mike, love this story of God’s incredible mercy and love. I teared up reading it. We too have four daughters and just thinking about this happening to one of my girls while driving dropped my heart into my lap. But God (one of my favorite phrases in the Bible) in His great mercy spared them all! So cool!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      God is so good, isn’t He? Every time I think of this story, I am thankful.

  • http://ayearinthespirituallife.blogspot.com/ Dayna Renee Hackett Bickham

    After a night of arguments from my teens and discipline issues that have me stressed out, I needed to read this and remember that God is always present with me, I should be present with  my children as well. 

    Less talky-talky, more walky-walky! 

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

      That needs to be printed and taped to my wall!

      • http://ayearinthespirituallife.blogspot.com/ Dayna Renee Hackett Bickham

        Mine Too! LOL! 

  • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

    Today I want to be present in the ordinary moments. I usually “show up” to the events, the big and special moments of the week. But I want to be look-you-in-the-eye present over the breakfast cereal and on the drive to school.

  • Miranda

    Oh Michael, I thank God for you and your family! Reading that story made my heart skip. I’m glad God gave you and your family a miracle.

    I need to be present for my family and some friends. Unlike you, I guess while I plan the future, and don’t dwell on it as much as I find myself wandering back to the past, thinking of what I could have done better and why I didn’t. But I thank God for grace that also reminds me of the miracles that came from them, and comforts me enough to  forget the past and press on to the future.

    Thank you for this post. It does remind one to embrace the present and see the “gift” that it is.

  • keithferrin

    On the other side of the emotional spectrum, I had a “be present” moment yesterday. So thankful I said “Yes” when my daughters asked me to hit the trampoline in the middle of the day. If I had said “no” I would have missed the look on Sarah’s face when she landed her first flip ever (and then proceeded to stick the landing on about 10 more)! True joy…

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Good for you, Keith. You’ll be amazed at how your children reflect on this later in life and how much it meant to them.

  • Jsbullersmitj

    With God

  • Gerhard

    Michael, So many times we don’t just stop, disconnect and be present. Here’s a blog post that I think echos your message well.

    http://laurakramerministries.wordpress.com/2012/05/10/stop-reading-this

  • Lili

    To my Family First of course…. but to humanity in general…we pass along life in the fast lane too often …not stopping to see others….as who they really are ….people with needs just like you amd me….people who are struggling God knows with what ..and a a kind word or act could just make thier day or be the medicine they needed to enlighten or
     encourage them to endure , press on and HAVE HOPE  !

  • http://twitter.com/BethMcShane bethmcshane

    This was such a powerful message for me this morning. Thank you for posting. My youngest daughter goes in for open-heart surgery next week, and my family is obviously worried about it. As the day draws near, we get more anxious. Yesterday we went to the movies together as a family for the first time in years. Tonight we will do putt putt golf, and tomorrow we bowl! Your post is a great reminder to stay present and focus on the now vs. next week :) Thanks so much!! 

    • Jim Martin

      Beth, you have read Michael’s touching story today, at what must be a very tender time for you and your family.   May God’s blessing and grace be on your daughter as she has open-heart surgery next week.  I also pray that God’s presence and comfort will be with you and your family in the up coming week. 

  • http://www.paulbevans.com/ Paul B Evans

    Present.

    It’s so easy to say and so difficult to live.

    Often tragedy realigns our focus on remaining present.

    My oldest son is 19. His mom, Sherri, passed away in my arms when he was five weeks old. Shortly after that I made a vow to be present. To go on every field trip. Attend every school event Sam was part of.

    When I married Marla and we had Steven together I made the same vow to them. That I would always be present. Of course, by the time the boys became teenagers they said I did NOT have to pay them so much attention! ;)

    But refocusing is a constant. It takes initiative to stay in the present. And there have been plenty of times through the years when my family has reminded me of my promise.

    Thanks for the reminder today, Michael.

    • http://TillerFamily.org/ John Tiller

      Hey Paul!   You set a great example for the rest of us!  I hope that I’m so “present” everyday, that someday my family says that I do NOT have to pay them so much attention!

      I have an inside question that I ask my son:  “Who loves you?”  He has always answered “Daddy!”.  As long as he does that, I know that there is at least one indicator that I’ve been present.  

      Thanks for sharing part of your story again.  I’m inspired every time I hear more!

      • http://www.paulbevans.com/ Paul B Evans

        Thanks John. Great getting to know you last week. Love the way you’re impacting the world with your story.

    • Jim Martin

      Paul, thanks for sharing this story.  You are right, often tragedy does realign our focus on being present.

      As you say, at times we have to refocus.  I suspect this is what many of are doing today as a result of reading this powerful story on Michael’s blog.

  • http://talesofwork.com/ kimanzi constable

    I’m sorry to say I had the opposite experience and wrote a post about it: http://talesofwork.com/blog/2012/05/sometimes-it-takes-a-death-to-understand-life/

    A week and a half ago my father died. My parents divorced when I was younger because of him being abusive. I held onto that anger in my heart and never had a relationship with him. He tried to reconnect as I got older but I kept shutting him down.  At the funeral was when it really hit, if it wasn’t for the grace of God I could have been in the same position, it was too late by then. Jesus Christ loved me and forgave me, I should have forgiven him like Jesus forgave me.

    It still really hurts that he died without me repairing the relationship, it’s really made me wake up to all my relationships I have now! No more biterness for me, I will be present to everyone that is close to me!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Powerful Kimanzi. Wow.

  • http://www.thadthoughts.com/ Thad P

    That is a powerful reminder of just how precious life is.  Living as a “psychological transient” causes us to miss the gift of the “here and now”.

  • http://www.theleaderforge.com/ Rick Seigmund

    Family, mind and health. It is really all we ever truly have in life. Going to call my wife and tell her I love her right now.

    • http://TillerFamily.org/ John Tiller

      Perfect response, Rick!

  • Serry Shao

    Amazing story.

  • http://colebradburn.com/ Cole Bradburn

    Michael, this story resonated with me on a deep level.  This past weekend, my 7 month pregnant wife was rear-ended in traffic.  We took her to our birthing center, and she started having contractions.  

    When I found out (I was at work), I instinctually and fervently prayed.  I have not prayed out of immediate need in a long time, and it was a reminder of how fragile life is, and how little control we have over “the future”

    This whole incident ended up being a powerful moment for us to really rely on God, and she is doing great now.  

    Why live in the future when your life happens in the present?  

    • http://TillerFamily.org/ John Tiller

      Cole, thanks for sharing your post …  you certainly helped some people.  I just subscribed to your blog.  Keep up the great writing!

      • http://colebradburn.com/ Cole Bradburn

        Thank you very much John.  I look forward to interacting more with you in the future.

    • Jim Martin

      Cole, thank you for sharing this story about your wife.  What a powerful and intense moment!  Thanks for reminding us of our need to rely on God.

      So glad your wife is doing well now.

      • http://colebradburn.com/ Cole Bradburn

        Thanks for reading and commenting Jim.  She is doing great, God is good.

  • http://www.nginaotiende.blogspot.com/ Ngina Otiende

    Love this post Michael. Right now, am in a kind of mind-marathon and am blessed by the timeliness of this post. 

    I like that last statement “The future will take care of itself, I want to learn to be present now’. 

    Part of leaving the future to take care of itself (and being present now) means savoring my present now. Slowing down, reminding myself God is in control, shutting the computer and taking a lunch break..now.

    Thanks for this post.

    • Jim Martin

      You express this very well, Ngina.  In particular, I like your third paragraph.  Thanks for speaking of “savoring my present now.”

  • http://ygraph.com/swotanalysis Swot

    I agree.. Presence is essential.. When  you speak out and whatever you say makes sense, people think more of you… Being a mystery, staying quite in the business world is a no-no..

  • Bbhouse

    I need to be present now with my husband. We don’t spend enough time together. He will be turning 72 on May 25th. So thank you for sharing your thoughts. It made me think about who I need to be with.

    • Jim Martin

      I suspect this was a reminder to may of us!  A great post.

  • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

    I know your story. I’ve lived it as well. I was at home when the fire chief called and said, “Your son was in an accident. You need to get to the hospital now.”

    A church member who was the first to the scene said, “I expected to see dead bodies in the car.” The sheriff’s deputy said, “It’s a miracle the driver (my son) survived.”

    My family has experienced its share of losses but I am thankful our son isn’t in the list.

    Being present now is tough (future plans, past regrets, etc., run through our minds) but it’s the best to truly treasure the moment.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=548586829 Chris R. Smith

    This is why I love your blog. You are so willing to just put yourself out there! I completely understand what you are saying. I work as a full time Firefighter and a full time EMT on an ambulance. I am reminded of this daily! One of the worst I have seen was after another crew had brought in a 16 year old boy who had died in a car accident. They had already taken his mother to a private room to be with family. As his father arrived and the ER secretary escorted him to the ER, she was unaware they had moved his mother to the private room. As soon as they had to change directions to go to the room I saw as the realization sank in that his so was dead. No one had to tell him. It was one of the most powerful things I have EVER seen. My heart hurt for days! I try to let this serve as a key reminder to live for each moment. It could have easily be me in his shoes.

    • http://TillerFamily.org/ John Tiller

      Chris, as a full-time firefighter and EMT, you witness things that many of us simply couldn’t handle.  The good side is that you are reminded, more than most, of  the importance of being present each day. 

      Thanks for sharing the story and serving your community!

    • Jim Martin

      Chris, what a story!  This reminds me to be very grateful that my family is alive and well this evening.

      I’m grateful for people like you who serve others through the kind of work you do. 

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      That takes my breath away to read it! Wow.

  • http://www.liveitforward.com/ Kent Julian

    I’m diligently striving to be present with my wife and kids. All 3 of our kids are teenagers, and believe it or not, 2 or 3 times a week we take a walk together as a family after dinner.  30 minutes with no TV, no computers, no iPods…just walking, talking, and being in the moment!

  • Rhonda

    I need to be present with my husband and children.  My work demands a lot of my time.  When not traveling I am constantly interrupted by email and phone messages.  Life breezes by while they sit on the sidelines waiting for me to stop and give them a bit of my time.  And meditating on the presence of God needs more focus, as well.  How can I allow myself to be so distracted from all that I love?

  • Cecilia Marie Pulliam

    Having been widowed twice, I know how precious the moment is. We never know if there will be another moment, let alone tomorrow. Thankfully, I don’t have any last word/action regrets to live with, but there could have been. Yet, we cannot borrow what might happen later, only hold onto now, this moment, and treasure it.

    What a miracle indeed that your family was unhurt.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Connie-Buckley/100000617298512 Connie Buckley

    I am better about being in the now at this time in my life than when I was younger. When I raised my four children, there were too many times when I buried myself in a book to escape and missed out on their reality. Now that they are grown, I think about missed opportunities.
    Today I stole time alone with the Lord and then lamented missing out on a friend. Felt as if the Lord whispered, “You spent time with Me instead.” 
    The remorse lifted. I know I need quiet time with God and I have to schedule it or it slips away.

  • KarlMealor

    Very powerful story.  Thanks for sharing.

  • http://www.irunurun.com/blog/ Travis Dommert

    So glad everyone was okay…scary to imagine how life could have changed for the worse that day. 

    This is the kind of story we need to read every day…how quickly life can change, how great is God’s glory and power.  

    Would love to know how this changed the lives of everyone involved…including that sheriff!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      The whole experience was a wake-up call to be sure. I think it made us all more grateful. We just don’t take life for granted any more.

  • Dan Erickson

    I think we need to be present to all we come in contact with.  I have a young daughter myself and can’t imagine the feeling of hearing about a car accident.  One thing I’m blogging about these days is the idea that when we are doing what we love for the right reasons, we are being intentional, serving others, serving God, and having fun.  Pretty cool combination.  I write a regular blog at http://danerickson.net

  • Pingback: Five Blogs – 11 May 2012 « 5blogs()

  • John Murphy

    The old saying that “our children get more from our presence than our presents” could not be  more true

  • http://date-masters.com/first-date-advice-for-men John Robie

    My favorite way of getting present is to get up, get out and start taking action on whatever my goals are. Thinking is great and all, by doing is really where I feel most at cause in my life.

  • Dayna Beal

    Lord, help me be present with my college kids today when I pick them up for summer break

  • Brian

    Thanks Michael! Your words ring true as I buried a great friend yesterday. He was 48 and had a stroke 2 weeks ago.  He seemed to be making progress then had brain swelling and died leaving a wife and 2 boys 11 and 16.  The 16 year old is going to the prom with my daughter tonight and this is also the wife’s birthday. Thankfully all are strong Christians. Say the important things today while you can.

  • JamesDeDeaux

    I believe it is most important to be present in God; then my family, friends, co-workers, and anyone we may come into contact with.  God places people in our lives every day for a reason; whether they are to gain something from us or we are to grow and gain from them.

  • http://candelierious.blogspot.com Lis

    Wow!  Reading what happened to your family gave me chills.  I just don’t know how they could have survived that except by the grace of God!

    I always strive to be more present to my son.  I am good and saying I know I only have a limited time with him, but not so good at living it.

  • http://www.matthewreedcoaching.com/ Matthew Reed

    I need to be more present for my school age boys…the reason I began working at home!

  • http://www.margaretfeinberg.com/ Margaret

    What a terrifying experience! I can’t imagine the emotions you must have been feeling as you raced toward that car and the relief you felt when you wrapped your arms around your family. Thanks for the reminder to be present!

  • Alickolli28

    “The past is gone. The future is not guaranteed. This moment is a gift. ”
    Immediately took my note book and wrote this in big capital letters. Thank you Michael. I am very glad that all your family members were safe.

  • Allyndpiansay

    It’s my husband, the only I’ve got beside me today… besides our dog.  Thanks for posting this powerful story and reminder.

  • Stephanie Romero

    I definitely want to be present with my family.  As a writer, I can get caught up in my work but nearly a week ago we experienced a traumatic event in our family that shook me to my core.  It was a reminder that you never know what life will bring your way…so enjoy every precious moment that you have.

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  • Brenda P

    Your post really hit home for me.  I have spent far too much of my life thinking
    about the future, trying to calculate every one of life’s possibilities and
    outcomes, and mentally preparing for each of the different scenarios.  This practice began to consume my mind to the
    point I was often told “I wasn’t listening” to others, and my relationships
    were beginning to suffer.  In truth, I
    was so focused on trying to control the future that I was unable to just be in the
    present.  One of my prayer requests this
    year was relief from the constant planning and the faith to turn the future
    over to God.  Thankfully, my prayers have
    been answered and today, my mind is at ease and I am able to live in and
    appreciate each moment for itself. 

  • STurner2

    Thanks for a great addition to my post today; I linked here. I was cleaning out my inbox and noticed I hadn’t open this your post which punctuates a statement I was attempting to make. You are a master story teller making this point more clearly than me. I have responded to many such accidents where a parent or husband find tragedy. I am grateful you found blessings.

    ST2

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  • AmericanWriter

    This brought tears to my eyes. It just reflects how busy our God is when we aren’t there. I also pray for those who have lost loved ones – and wondering where God was for them.

  • Victoria

    Many days I look at my beloved and ask, ” Why doesn’t he see me?”.  I know I really see him, and I was able to help in early detection of his life threatening melanoma because of it. I recently watched a therapist giving advice on intimacy to a couple on the Bravo show “Pregnant In Heels” by recommending a treatment whereby a couple stares deeply into one another’s eyes. I think she called it “soul searching”. I was witness to a very personal transformation. Real eye contact is so essential, as it is the simple beginning of really seeing someone you love and making a deeper connection. 

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