Hey all!

Hope that you guys are off to a great start of 2017. If you are resolution-ing, you go bro/girl. If you aren’t, more power to you. I’ve been off to a great start of 2017 and have been thinking about resolutions myself.

The concept of a New Year’s resolutions is pretty crazy, isn’t it? You analyze all last year and then you ask yourself, “Self, where could I get better? What goal do I want to set for myself?” for the whole year… It is CRAZY. The craziest part is that, if you’re like me, you think about and decide the resolution in one day. Yep. Insane. So, you’re probably thinking this is another post ripping New Year’s resolutions. But actually, it isn’t.

Lately, God has been teaching me this concept of, “being present”. It is not a new concept by any means but I’m starting to see it manifest into other areas of my life. When I usually talk about being present, I mean fighting my incessant need to be on my phone or scroll through social media. That when I’m hanging out with people or at dinner with someone, I should actually BE hanging out with people or at dinner with them. That all that other stuff can wait! Story time: I was at lunch the other day with some coworkers and I looked up from my food at one point and realized that everyone was on their phones. Everyone! Snap chatting, checking Instagram, texting their significant other, or just constantly checking the time. I realized this multiple times and am not mentioning this to boast about me not doing so, but rather just to show that this is a common and easy way to be present with people that we so often don’t take advantage of.

But, as I mentioned, I’ve started seeing this concept of being present pop up in another aspect of my life: planning and looking to the future. This “on to the next thing” way-of-life that our culture subscribes to is what I’m talking about. You know what I’m talking about. How from the time you start high school you are supposed to know where you want to go to college and what job you want to hold. How when you start college you are supposed to have a five, ten and twenty-year plan. Our society wants us to be thinking about the next and best thing. How we should be planning for retirement from the time we accept our first job. Now, am I saying that planning is bad? Of course not! I think that is one of the biggest reasons we have a brain. So, that we can think critically and plan. I mean, Jesus had a plan from the start of his life on Earth. To find His leadership (his 12 disciples), disciple and develop them, and then send them to the ends of the Earth proclaiming His gospel (Acts 1:8). Moses, Paul, Nehemiah, and many other biblical figures showed planning to be a key part of their lives. Proverbs 14:15 says, “A simple man believes anything, but a prudent man gives thought to his steps."

“What is your point then, Zach?” My point is that our culture is never allowing us to be satisfied or content with where we are in life. For me, I’m in the Raleigh Fellows Program and have found myself being consumed by next year. The fear of the unknown. The doubt of my vocation. The inevitable roadblocks that will pop up. But, the thing is, I felt a calling by God to this program. And this program is nine months long, not five months. So, what I’m saying is that I, like many of us, am looking past my current stage of life onto the next one and am not able to enjoy it fully. For those who are in entry level jobs looking to climb the corporate ladder; enjoy that time of learning and growing as an employee. For those who are nearing the age of retirement and longing for it; see that God is using your work for his Kingdom and you in other people’s lives. For those of us who are desiring that one thing that will make our lives easier; know that the Lord has given you more than what you need. I guess what I’m trying to say is enjoy the present. Don’t be consumed by the fear, uncertainty, or longing of the future.

You all really are awesome people. You are valued and uniquely made people. You are valued not because of who we are but because of whose we are; you are God’s beloved sons and daughters. So, treat yourself that way. Focus on being present where you are and not being consumed by the future because, like A$AP Rocky once said, “my presence is a present, just to kick it is blessing.”

PS: I do not condone any other lyrics A$AP Rocky raps.

Zach Kunkel