by Cori Dunton

I’m really good at getting things done. Ask my friends, they’ll tell you. I’m a to-do list kind of person. I’m always tackling a project, I’m always checking off a box, I’m constantly working to get “there”, wherever there may be. In other words, I’m always going. I blame my mom, she’s a powerhouse woman and growing up it seemed like she never needed rest. She was the problem solver, and I loved her (still love her) for it. So I became like my mom, a problem solver, a do-er. But so much doing eventually leads to rushing, and rushing leads to running out of breath. 2017 was a year of continually trying to catch my breath. I worked multiple jobs, finished my degree and tried my hardest to keep checking those boxes. I pushed myself to exhaustion because I didn’t want to appear unreliable (don’t worry ya’ll, I’m tackling this in therapy). I wanted to hold onto my title of do-er even as my knuckles started to bleed.

Slowly but surely I began to realize that I was missing the mark entirely. I was accomplishing so much yet appreciating so little. I was walking too fast, trampling the rose bush in the process. My ribs ached so badly from trying to catch my breath that I couldn’t even look up to see the good and simple life shaping around me. I was speeding through it. I was missing it. This past Sunday, Pastor Derrick spoke on the beauty and gift of being present. As he spoke about the power of staying in the here and now every bone in my body resonated with it. Because it is powerful, to really be in your life. To sit in all of it, every bit of pain and glory and not run.

And that’s the type of life I want to lead. A life that recognizes that this is it. This everyday, ordinary stuff is the “there” I’ve been working towards. I’m already here and so are you. Our lives are unfolding in truly weird and wonderful ways; in conversations over coffee and impromptu drives to Sunset Cliffs and bonfires in the backyard. And I don’t want to miss anymore of it. So I’m practicing the pause, every chance I get. I’m thanking Jesus for the here and now, and believing it’s exactly where I’m meant to be. I’m clearing my lungs, I’m looking up, I’m taking things off my to-do list. I’m literally stopping to smell the roses and I hope you will too.

Watch Pastor Derrick’s talk “Presence” now and share it with the ones in your life who need this powerful truth.

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