Don't tune out too quickly there...
I'm not talking about engaged as in ring on my finger, planning a wedding, buying a dress, spending thousands, planning my life together with the love of my life...
Although someday I do look forward to that, I'm talking about a different kind of engaged.
This thought popped into my head last night for some reason, and I just realized that I want to be engaged more in life. I need to be. We all need to be.
I'm talking about being engaged, fully, in conversations. So much in tune with the conversation and that person that you're not distracted by something on your mind, looking for someone else, checking your phone, texting another person, or going over whatever you need to say or do next in your head.
I'm talking about being engaged in friendships, family, and other relationships. I mean tuned into that person's life and truly caring for and loving them. I want to love people wholeheartedly and without superficiality. I see that too much and it bothers me...in myself and others.
I'm talking about being engaged in society...in acts of social justice, politics, pop culture, the community around you, the environment. It's easy for me to be engaged in pop culture and getting caught up in American Idol or The Next Food Network Star, but it's another story for me to completely engage other things of importance. (And note, I do think it's important to be in tune with all kinds of pop culture to know what other people in the world are thinking and doing.) I need to care more for the invisible children in Northern Uganda, the AIDS crisis in Africa and worldwide, people living life without joy in many parts of Europe, those living in Haiti under corrupt government, those in New Orleans and nearby that are STILL struggling to live, people who are homeless or needy even here in Lincoln, IL.
I'm talking about being engaged in my job...making sure that I am giving my best 100% of the time and making sure that I always see the bigger picture of Kingdom ministry being done beyond just what happens here at LCC and in the Admissions office. The outcome is not getting students to apply, become admitted, or even to graduate. It's what happens when they're finished with this place that I want to see happen. It's what I need to be motivated by daily in the tasks of my job.
I'm talking about being engaged in creativity...one of the best ways to understand and embody part of God's character. I want to be more involved in the arts...I want to sing more, dance more, learn to paint, learn how to create and imagine more...
I'm talking about being engaged in the body of Christ...to truly accept my brothers and sisters as they are and to find community there and be accepted myself. I want to be more involved by serving, leading, encouraging, helping, offering all that I can.
I'm talking about being engaged with Christ...to be the Breath of God, to have the Holy Spirit alive and active in me--confronting my sins and showing me the right way, to read and understand the Word that is living and active and then to act on it. I want to be engaged in prayer and constant communication with the Lord who already knows my thoughts anyway, so why can't I seem to offer up more time in my busy and un-busy days to give to Him?
This is how I want to be engaged. No rings necessary.