Are You “All” There? If not, where are you?
I stumbled upon this quote a few months ago as I mindlessly perused hundreds of images on Pinterest. This one stuck out. I love quotes & I often find the simpler the better.
This one is a gem.
I have had these words tumbling over and over in my mind since finding it and it is changing how I live.
This quote caught my attention not only because of the genius within it, but because of the voice behind it. Many of you probably remember the story of Jim Elliot, I’ve grown up listening to my mom tell me about him. But in case you aren’t familiar, here’s why seeing his name made me pause:
In 1956, Jim Elliot set out with 4 other men to travel into the jungles of Ecuador with the goal of reaching the dangerous Waodani tribe to share the gospel with them. After a few brief but friendly encounters with two of the tribe members the 5 men began anxiously planning a visit to the tribe’s village. However, before they were able to do so they were attacked by the tribe and were all killed. Jim Elliot was married, had a small daughter, and lost his life for the Lord at the age of 28. He had the opportunity to lead a safer life in the States but felt Ecuador and the Auca people were where he should be. His heart was “all there” with these people and after his death, his wife, Elizabeth Elliot and daughter Valerie remained behind with the Auca and brought the belief in Jesus to the entire tribe.
This quote, “wherever you are -” hit me. I’m in the present, I’m in “right now” and I’m rarely completely -heart, mind & soul – present. This idea has caused me to take steps that have opened up new and refreshing challenges before me. Here are some of the ways I’ve been living this out:
- Fully commit to something. I’ve attended my home church, Bethany Church in Long Beach, CA my entire life and found that I fluctuate between seasons of involvement and detachment. I recently started attending a new young adults ministry there and while I’ve been stand-offish for the past few years I decided (because of this quote) that I was going to be “all there” and am finally getting involved in ways I didn’t anticipate for myself.
- Engage with the people in front of you. Being in an iPhone family I have found out how easy it is to disengage with the people around you in favor of checking your phone. Last Sunday we had a big family dinner at my parents house and instead of falling into my normal mode of operation by pulling my phone out I engaged my grandma in a great conversation that led to pulling out old albums and learning some great family history. I was in the moment with her and I will never regret that time.
- Be intentional about feeling and experiencing. I love seeing the fireworks at Disneyland. I have a pass and for my birthday each year I just want to be camped out on Main Street, USA to see the show. Since my birthday is in December the weather is always a bit iffy but if we’re lucky enough to get a full show I find myself each time trying as hard as I can to realize what I’m doing, “I’m watching the fireworks!”, where I am, “I’m at Disneyland!”, who I’m with, “I’m with my sweet husband!” and why I’m there, “It’s my birthday!”. If I don’t do this then I trail away, get distracted by the talking family in front of me or by the kid on his dad’s shoulders that’s blocking my view of the Matterhorn and I miss the reason I was there – the fireworks.
As you see, my sentimental heart can quickly become carried away and swept into memories from the past that I love reliving and sharing. However, I am also a worrier and often find my mind drifting into future uncertainties and endless question marks.
How can you see this idea being helpful to you in your daily life?
Do you remember Jim Elliot’s story? If so, how has it impacted your life?