For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to matter. I was in a constant pursuit of doing whatever it would look like to matter — to someone, to the world, to God. I believed I had to always be hustling toward the next best thing in order to prove my value to the world.
Three years ago, I packed up my whole life into my car, left behind my hometown in Connecticut and drove 14 hours down south to rebuild my life in Atlanta, Georgia.
I was six months into living in Atlanta when all this striving came to a grinding halt. I remember sitting in the corner of my favorite coffee shop one evening. It was late — there were only a few people still there — but I was coming to this coffee shop on most evenings to bury myself in work. I was doing anything I could to avoid planting roots in this new city.
The owner of the coffee shop and I were chatting about something. As he turned to walk behind the coffee bar, he paused and looked back at me.
“You know,” he said to me. “I wonder about you.”
“Oh, really?” I answered. I was intrigued by what he might say next.
“Yeah,” he paused. “I just wonder who picks you up from the airport. That’s all.”
I bit back tears as he said it. It was like he was peeling through the thick, yet flimsy, layers of bravery I was trying to project and saying, “I see you.” He knew I needed people. We all do. He could see that I wasn’t planting roots or doing the hard and holy work of being present to what was right in front of me. I was hiding from people and God, waiting for another chance to run somewhere new.
I felt like God was with me in that moment, sitting with me in that coffee shop, whispering, “Stop striving. Stop chasing. Be here now. Moment to moment, I will lead you.”
Sometimes I think it would be easier to put my hope in myself or in my future. I want to skip the investment of hope and keep my eyes fixed on things I think I can control. But I miss out on life when I don’t live in the present moment God has given me. I miss out on so much. He has a daily mission for me, and it matters.
Be where your feet are.
This became my daily motto.
It’s still my motto because I need a lot of practice. “Be where your feet are” is a constant reminder, a way to keep saying to myself, “Hey, look around. Don’t be freaking out about the future or worrying about the past. God wants to teach you something. Today matters. This matters.”
Without fail, when I turn from distractions, God always shows me moments he handcrafted for me. They’re waiting for me. I just need to step into them.
Dear God, teach me to be where my feet are. It’s easy to be stuck in the past or worried about the future, but I know You call me to this moment, this hour, this day. Thank You for the tiny details throughout this day You’ve laid out for me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
by Hannah Brencher; Proverbs 31 Ministries
“Seven Last Words” is our Lenten theme and they are the sayings of Jesus from the cross as recorded in the Gospel narratives. This week’s word is, “Here.” Join us in worship on Wednesday at noon or 6:30 pm (or watch our livestream on Facebook at noon) when we reflect on Jesus’ “here and now” moments on the cross.
At First Lutheran, we are a community of disciples of Jesus Christ working for the transformation of the world. Throughout our history, we have remained committed to drawing on our Lutheran (ELCA) tradition of using meaningful worship, content-rich learning and warm hospitality to care well for our congregation, the surrounding community and the world.