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Staying in the Moment

Staying in the Moment

   Ryan Wells
   16 November 2018

I challenged a recent mission trip team with this: “Be in the moment.” I warned them of the many distractions they would face through the day, so they should intentionally stay engaged with the children. “Being in the moment” is important for all, but especially men because they may be the only male, positive physical touch these kids have experienced in years! I had no idea how I would be impacted by this challenge later that day…

The team was almost ready to dismiss the children from the CarePoint. I planned to walk outside at the “Amen!” of the closing prayer to capture pictures of the children’s facial expressions receiving the toys our team brought for them. (My favorite pictures to take on a trip!)

During the closing prayer, a child in the front of the room was playing by himself. He was running from one side of the room to the other, carelessly bumping into other children and adults. Where was his mother? Which one of our leaders would stop him? Didn’t anyone else see what was happening?

I stepped in to stop the distractions. I picked the child up and his head hit my shoulder like a ton of bricks and he did not move. Could this child have gone from wide-open-crazy-sugar-rush to nap time in less than two seconds? I paused a little longer, he still did not move.

 I wish I had sensed this child’s desires, but I did not. I simply stumbled upon this encounter, but I intuitively knew how to respond because of the compassion I felt.

Now, I was the one fighting to be in the moment. I wanted to take those pictures, but I knew my mission at that moment was loving this young child and nothing else. A team member got great pictures of the kids receiving the toys. Thank you, Jesus.

This moment reminded me of Jesus’s parable of the three men who encountered one man in need (Luke 10:30-37). A Priest and Levite both saw the man but avoided him. The Jewish listeners were shocked that moral leaders turned their heads. Furthermore, many Jews considered Samaritans the lowest class of all Gentiles, so I can only imagine their reactions as Jesus finished the story.

Jesus continues in verse 33, “But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion.” The phrase “as he journeyed,” lets us know he was going somewhere, but it was his compassion that compelled him to stop.

Jesus performed many miracles through “distractions” as he traveled. Therefore, the journey God has placed us on is just as important as the destination because each step, when we stay in the moment, has the potential to be its own destination.

Ryan Wells

Ryan, his wife, and their two boys live in Lousiana. From It Works! conferences to vision trips around the world, Ryan's heart for people impacts his enthusiasm and compassion to see Every Child a Whole Child.

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