Michael Jackson could do a number of things I can’t do. At the top of that list are singing, dancing and doing “The Lean.” You know the lean I mean, right? Feet in one place, head in another? I’ve seen other performers defy gravity, but the secret of that move eludes me. (So do photos of that move, so you’ll have to use your imagination.)
Sadly, I can be really good at another kind of lean. Case in point: Not long ago, I was on a hike with my husband–great guy, beautiful surroundings, pretty romantic actually. Suddenly I realized my head was not where my feet were. I was hiking with Steve on the outside, but inside I was planning my grocery list. (Sick but true.) Have you done that as well? Have you ever played Go Fish with your kids while mentally planning your next menu? ‘Listened to a troubled friend while wondering when you’re going to get your inbox emptied out? We miss so much when we do that.
I think we become less effective as servants and sharers of the love of Christ when we lean. When my concentration is divided, I’m really saying to myself (and to the people I’m with if they catch on to what’s going on inside my brain) something like, “I have so many important things to do. These people are a bit of an interruption to my agenda. I certainly can’t give them my full attention, because then I might not get all my needs and goals met today.” Or maybe I just haven’t developed the habit of full attention in this world of distraction. Either way, I’m trying to learn to be completely engaged in the moment at hand. It’s a way to love others, to up my gratitude level and to practice contentment.
There’s another kind of lean that’s just as destructive. It sounds something like this:
“Life will be better when…”
“I can’t wait until…”
“If only it was time to…”
My mom calls that “wishing your life away.” And that’s just what it is. If we live with that mindset, we’ll miss the moment—and even hard moments are not meant to be missed. We’re meant to live through them with full reliance on our Lord.
I think both varieties of the lean are part of the Devil’s ploys to keep us looking away from today, and to steal the joy God wants to give us right now. I’m praying that, from here on, my head and my feet will stay together in the same place!