April 13, 2024

Faithfully Present: Embracing the Limits of Where and When God Has You” by Adam Ramsey is a compelling call to Christians. The book urges them to embody a life of presence in a world that is constantly distracted and disconnected. The book challenges believers to live out their faith with intentionality, focusing on being truly present with God, with others, and in their personal calling. It combines theological insight with practical wisdom. Ramsey’s work is a clarion call to rediscover the power and beauty of presence in an age of absence.

As a 43-year old missionary woman who has dedicated her life to serving others, I find “Faithfully Present” to be particularly resonant. The demands of ministry come with a set of worries and responsibilities. They often leave me feeling stretched thin and disconnected from the very people and purposes I am called to serve. Ramsey’s book serves as a timely reminder and guide on how to navigate these challenges with grace and intentionality.

The problem of disconnection

Ramsey begins by diagnosing the problem of our era: the pervasive sense of disconnection in a hyper-connected world. He argues that the constant distractions of technology, the relentless pace of modern life, and the tendency to spread ourselves too thin across too many commitments have led to a superficial engagement with our faith, relationships, and vocations. This observation strikes a chord with me. I often find myself caught in the whirlwind of missionary work, balancing administrative duties, community engagement, and personal spiritual growth. All the while, I am feeling like I’m barely scratching the surface of true, deep connection.

The call to presence

The book then transitions into a scriptural and theological exploration of presence. Ramsey delves into the biblical narrative to show how God’s presence is central to the story of redemption. From Eden to the incarnation of Christ, God is present with His creation. This foundation grounds the practical applications that follow.

Being present with God

For me, one of the most impactful sections of the book is where Ramsey addresses the practice of being present with God. He advocates for a life of prayer, meditation on Scripture, and contemplation that goes beyond mere routine or obligation. Ramsey encourages a posture of listening and attentiveness to God’s voice, emphasizing the importance of making space for silence and solitude in our lives. As someone who often finds herself overwhelmed by the noise and demands of ministry, this call to cultivate a quiet heart before God is both challenging and refreshing.

Being present with others

Being present with others is another critical theme of the book. Ramsey reminds us that the Christian life is not meant to be lived in isolation. The community forms the context for our Christian lives. He challenges the reader to invest in relationships, to practice hospitality, to listen deeply, and to fully engage in the lives of those around us. In a culture that often values efficiency and productivity over people, Ramsey’s message is a powerful counter-narrative. As a missionary, I am reminded that my work is not just about accomplishing tasks. Instead it is about loving and serving people wholeheartedly.

Being present in our calling

Finally, Ramsey discusses the idea of being present in our calling. He encourages readers to embrace their vocational calling as a form of worship. This is true whether that calling is in full-time ministry, the marketplace, or the home. He urges a mindfulness and excellence in our work. This is not for our own glory but as a testament to the God we serve. This perspective is particularly encouraging to me. It reaffirms the value of my work as a missionary while also challenging me to approach it with a renewed sense of purpose and presence.

Faithfully Present” ends with a call to action. It urges resisting the culture of distraction and disconnection. Instead we should. embrace a life of intentional presence. Ramsey’s book is not just a critique but a hopeful vision of what could be if Christians commit to being fully present with God, with others, and in their calling.

As a missionary, “Faithfully Present” has been a source of conviction and encouragement. It has challenged me to examine the ways in which I have allowed the busyness and worries of ministry to erode my ability to be truly present. At the same time, it has provided practical guidance on how to cultivate presence in my relationship with God, in my community, and in my work. Adam Ramsey’s book is a timely and timeless reminder of the power of presence in a world that desperately needs it.

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