From my journal: I am romanced by the simple phrase by which Charles de Foucauld (1858-1916) chose to define his life: Present to God; present to people. In the morass of mission statements and pithy slogans designed to identify the passions of organizations, churches, and individuals, I think I like this one best. In recent weeks I've tried to awaken to it each morning.
Being present reminds me of the experience my wife, Gail, and I once had while on a walk in a Swiss alpine valley. We had come upon a farmer and his dog who were rounding up a large herd of brown cows (the ones with the huge bells around their necks). The farmer would point to a spot out on the edge of the herd. The dog would race in that direction, then suddenly stop to look back to get a second command. The farmer would sweep his hand to the right or left, and the dog, now furiously barking, would drive the cows wherever the farmer was willing them to go.
Then the dog would tear back to the farmer's side, sit, breathing ...1