Time and presence – the stuff of shared experience

By Dave Henning / November 25, 2017

“Time and presence.  They are the stuff of shared experience.  We can’t experience true intimacy without them.  And there is no greater gift than we can give to those we love.”- John Ortberg

As John Ortberg continues Chapter 1 of I’d Like You More . . . , he notes we must be fully present in order to share an experience with another person.  Of course, that includes engagement and active listening.

Most noteworthy, Pastor Ortberg adds, Jesus demonstrated a striking dimension of His capacity to love- His total presence with people.  Thus, John quips, in all the Bible, Jesus never says to anyone: “Huh, what did you say?  I wasn’t paying attention.  I was distracted with all my Messiah work.”

Jesus consistently showed awareness of His friends’ welfare.  Jesus mastered fostering intimacy through time and attention.  In addition, being fully present requires a commitment of time.  Pastor Ortberg explains:

“Time is precious to us because it is such a limited commodity.  We can make money, but we can’t make more time.  That’s why giving someone the gift of our time is such an intimate act.  It’s something we can never get back.”

Also, when it comes to allotting time, eventually you manage to disappoint someone.  However, make sure you don’t disappoint the people you love the most.  For at the end of the day, only our shared experiences really matter.  At the end of life, no one asks to read their resume, review their financial portfolio, or tick off a list of their most impressive accomplishments.

In conclusion, John explains the requirements of relationship.  We must make top relationships the top priority of our time.

“The act of ‘being with’ someone requires patience and sacrifice.  It means putting the other person’s wants and needs above our own and being willing to invest as much time as it takes to make the person feel valued and loved.”

Today’s question: How do time and presence sustain intimacy in your life?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Jesus doesn’t place efficiency above intimacy”

About the author

Dave Henning

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