Staying Present by Lisa Burkhardt Worley

We just taped a POP Talk interview with a strengths coach and it made me think again about my top five strengths identified through Clifton Strengthfinders testing: Activator #1, Strategic #2, Learner #3, Input #4 and Futuristic #5. I have found that futuristic can be both good and bad. You’re good at planning but not so good at staying present because you are always thinking about what’s next.

This tendency to race ahead can come into play during a morning quiet time. Attempting to focus, our minds can drift off to our to-do list. Sometimes we don’t even realize we are not absorbing what we are reading until we wonder What did I just read? Then we read it again.

Hebrews 12:1-2 says, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.”

But we need to run the race with Jesus, not ahead of Him.

How do we fix our eyes on Jesus during a morning devotional? My quiet time consists of worship, reading and prayer. So when I play my worship song and I don’t worship, I play another one, then another one, and possibly another one until I worship with my entire heart. I also pray and ask the Holy Spirit to help me focus on God, because when operating in the flesh, I’m not good at it. Staying present is critical because we don’t want to miss any revelation the Lord has for us. In God’s presence we can experience spiritual growth. I loved something said in one of my devotionals: reading the Bible is like the water and fertilizer in our lives—but God causes the growth, not us. Our only role is to remain in Christ.

So all of you forward-thinking people, I am praying that you will keep pace with Jesus and not race ahead with your thoughts or your actions. There are many blessings to be received when we stay present.

“One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple” (Psalm 27:4 NIV).


Join the Pearls of Promise Team as we travel to Israel January 9-18, 2024! We would love for you to journey to the Holy Land with us. For more information, check out our webpage for the trip at:

Holy Land with Pearls of Promise Ministries – January 2024

Categories: Blog


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