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  • Katie Smith

No Time like the Present

"God is not in the present. All moments are present to God" (Tim Keller sermon podcast).

We splinter our lives into fragments: infancy, youth, adolescence, maturity, aging, elderly. This crumbles our understanding of time. Future and past become time zones that limit our choices. What if all moments were present for us? When you travel through different time zones, you begin to forget what number represents truth on a clock. Instead, you let go of time and your perceived understanding of the "present".

Moreover, when you "lose track of time," it typically signifies some type of enjoyment. Real learning takes place when a student loses track of time. Memories stick in your mind when "time flies." The greatest aspects of life have no time frame at all, they simply always are.... Like love and God.

Seasons form structures, and boundaries add protection, but our obsession with framing clocks and calculating cycles and steps obstructs our vantage point. It is to our disadvantage that we seek to hold time in our hands.

Living in an RV the past several weeks gave me a healthy dose of presence. Mimicking a pseudo-European lifestyle, our family's pace slowed way down (even more than it did after little Levi entered the world). I didn't have to pick anyone up or drop anyone off anywhere. I didn't have the same amount of home chores, food prep, or phone calls. Instead, I could sit and work through the strengths, weaknesses, and attitudes of our crew. We could eat and sleep based on physical cues rather than a rushed timetable. We could stop and visit people or places, or leave those same locations whenever we needed because our home was one wheels.

While I understand "slowness" can exist inside our American homes, the underlying (albeit self-inflicted) pressure to "show up," "sign up" or "suit up" feels inescapable. When the world bombards us with distractions, the open road calls us to a Euro-balance--free yet confined, open yet limited, mobile yet domestic.

On the other hand, I felt at peace stretching in my big bed once we returned home, and I could have stood in our shower forever, appreciating the water-pressure improvement. However, I think we could all use a dose of "presence" in our lives today. The barrage of messages deafens our appreciation of time. Thus, we keep searching for a break or vacation from normal life to regain our hearing. I would encourage everyone to try a little "normal life" while traveling. RV-living provided that slow-pace of quarantine without the feeling of isolation.

So much learning on all accounts occurred, and yet there is so much more to go...

Learning the ins, outs, pros and cons of traveling with kids, more insights to come.... in the meantime, enjoy Antidote to Anxiety a Road to Fearless Faith, now available as an audiobook for all you traveling-homebodies out there!


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