We're particularly averse to talking about things we can't do. When we're told we can't, our instincts respond with, "watch me."
From a biblical perspective though, our limits remind we are created—not creator, saved—not saviour, and spirit-filled—not the Spirit.
In Faithfully Present: Embracing the Limits of Where and When God Has You by Adam Ramsey we have the opportunity to examine our limitations, as uncomfortable as it may be, in order to draw us nearer to the presence of God and into the presence of others.
Faithfully Present: Embracing the Limits of Where and When God Has You | Book Review
Purpose of the Book
Table of Contents
My Take (From Tunnel Vision to the Lookout Point)
Purpose of the Book
Faithfully Present is a journey through Scriptures to teach us about our human limits of time and place to encourage our faithful living for Christ today.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Learning to Live, Where You Are
PART 1: Time
CHAPTER 1 Time
CHAPTER 2 Times
CHAPTER 3 Seasons
CHAPTER 4 Lulls
CHAPTER 5 Hurry
CHAPTER 6 Pauses
CHAPTER 7 MemoriesCHAPTER 8 Funerals
PART 2: Place
CHAPTER 9 Here
CHAPTER 10 Bodies
CHAPTER 11 Others
CHAPTER 12 Eternity
Epilogue: Time Unlimited in a Place Uncursed
The first 8 chapters address different aspects of time and how it influences our daily lives; whether it’s our busyness, our stage in life, or our memories. The last 4 explore our physical place and presence. You won’t find reflection questions at the chapters, but you will find discussion questions as a free download here.
From Tunnel Vision to the Lookout Point
In the normative state of overcommitted busyness in our culture today, we all need to re-examine our priorities, values and activities to press deeper into the true meaning of faithfulness and how it manifests in our lives today.
Entering the new year, I’ve spent time reflecting on my commitments and considering goals for the next season. The tenderness of burnout is still fresh and prayers for discernment are whispered with my breath.
I find myself thinking, “if I had more time…” when another thing to do pops up. The author reminds us, “the answer is not to try to find more time” but tells us instead “you exist within time, but you do not belong to time. You belong to Jesus.” This reminds me of the call to give myself first to Christ, to tithe my time in abiding with him.
In the LiveDead Journal, Dick Brogden talks about this, how a tithe of our time would be 2.4 hours. How many of us can say we set this time aside every day to be in the Word and in prayer? It’s a humbling thought.
Life is happening all around me and in the tunnel vision of my schedule, I miss opportunities to love and bless others if I’m fixated only on my lane and what’s in front of me. This is where the concept of faithful presence refreshes how I see myself and my place in the world. It’s a gift of perspective, one modeled after our Savior, who was never rushed or hurried and took time to rest, whether in a boat during a storm or when his followers crowded around him. He saw the short man seeking him in a tree, the desperate woman bent over to touch his cloak, the mourning widow who seemed to have lost everything. He didn’t miss people because he wasn’t hurrying. He saw them and drew them out for the sake of the gospel.
To move from a narrow line of sight to a broader perspective, we’ve got to hoof it toward a lookout point, one where we see the vast expanse below us and around us. It takes effort on our part to refrain from overcommitted busyness, repentance also. When we see as Christ does, interruptions become ministry, unmet expectations as opportunities for faith to grow, and our priorities center on the gospel and bringing Light to those around us.
Amy Gannett reminds us of the value in that "our human limitation to be exclusively in one place at a time give meaning to our physical presence. It's why time over coffee with a friend, a business deal made in the same conference room between two partners, and a visitor who steps inside your hospital room mean so much—because we can only be one place at a time, and we chose to be in that place, with those people."
Our physical presence is a gift we give to others. We get to choose how we spend the time we're given and it's worth our consideration how we do that.
So I pray, “that our God may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power, so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Thess 1:11-12).
If you’ve never considered the limits of our humanity, this is a good one to pick up. Maybe you have and wonder how this relates to our everyday busy lives, this is a helpful resource.
When you’re worn out, missing the moments around you, living your life in tunnel vision, this resource will help you step back a minute to reflect on your season and surroundings.
# of Pages: 160
Level of Difficulty: Easy
My Rating: 5 stars
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Scriptures About Living for Today
Only fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart. For consider what great things he has done for you (1 Sam.12:24).
Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble (Matt. 6:34).
Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil (Eph. 5:15-16)
You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore (Ps. 16:11).
Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually! (1 Chr. 16:11).
From the Author
Here's a short clip from an interview where you can hear a little more from author, Adam Ramsey about accepting the season were in.
Check out my profile on Goodreads
A big thanks to The Good Book Company for the complimentary copy of this book and the opportunity to post an honest review.
 Amy Gannett, Fix Your Eyes: How Our Study of God Shapes Our Worship Of Him, ch.3.