• November 9, 2010

Tim, volunteer in Peru:
"The importance of the present moment".

Timothy H., an American vol­un­teer from New Hampshire, fin­ished on November 10th his mis­sion in Lima. He shares with us his reflec­tions over the last two years:

“The impor­tance of the pre­sent moment.... Put this way, it seems so simple, right? In prac­tice though, it can be much harder. In Heart’s Home, we try to live authen­ti­cally the charism of com­pas­sion with both our arms and doors wide open. However, it’s not always the first thing we might choose to do in the moment. It can be dif­fi­cult at times to drop what you’re doing to respond to a knock on the door or a phone call (espe­cially if you’re got your hands full trying to get lunch ready on time). It’s not always easy to stop and chat with a friend on the street when you’re run­ning late or have a lot of things to do. For me per­son­ally, is has been and can still be a struggle. Like most, I have my own will and that will wants to be heard and sat­is­fied; it’s not always easy to put it aside and respond to the “call” Christ has placed in the moment and to respond to the needs of another.

Over the last two years, day after day of trying to live each moment ready to respond to the calls of the Holy Spirit in the poor and needy has shown me a thing or two about my pri­or­i­ties and how they’re orga­nized. It’s not unusual for me to find that they need a little tweaking. Someone once said that we should try to be #3: God 1st, everyone else 2nd, and our­selves 3rd. Sounds good in words, but living it is some­thing else. At times, I make the mis­take of pri­or­i­tizing some future event instead of the event I have in front of me. In other words, I fail to be fully pre­sent with the people I’m with and give them the atten­tion they deserve and need. I must con­stantly remind myself that the person with whom I’m sharing a moment is the most impor­tant person in the world. That the moment I’m living is the most impor­tant moment in my life. Simply put, they’re the most impor­tant because apart from them, I have nothing. The past is past, the dis­tant is dis­tant, and future is yet to come. The moment and the pres­ence in front of me are the only things I can truly live. And so, live them I try to do.

Trying to live this way, to truly live this rela­tion­ship well between myself and God, and myself and everyone else, and trying to get my pri­or­i­ties straight has shown me the impor­tance of the simple act of lis­tening. So much more than hearing and under­standing words, lis­tening means trying to under­stand beyond the words and actions to listen to the true person beneath it all. Often, there is a “calling out”, a scream, a beg­ging, an honest desire - a desire for some­thing real, a desire to love and be loved authen­ti­cally. But often, this desire is cov­ered up, pro­tected and guarded away to keep the real and true person beneath from being wounded. As a result, true person puts on a mask of words and actions that have nothing to do with who they really are.”

Tim H.

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