Faithfully Present – Adam Ramsey

Faithfully Present: Embracing the Limits of Where and When God Has You by Adam Ramsey
Also by this author: Truth on Fire: Gazing at God Until Your Heart Sings, Truly, truly, I say to you: Meditations on the Words of Jesus from the Gospel of John, Faithfully Present: Embracing the Limits of Where and When God Has You
Published by Good Book Company on September 1, 2023
Genres: Non-Fiction, Christian Life
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How to accept our limitations and be free to live in the moment, fully and faithfully present with God and with others. Do you ever wish that life would slow down? Or perhaps you’re in a season when you would like to hit the fast-forward button and speed things up a bit. We have a complicated relationship with time, usually wishing we had more of it. Many of us live life at full speed, trying to be in two places at once, our minds too busy and distracted by all the things we feel we ought to be doing to be mindful of God’s presence. In this thought-provoking book, Adam Ramsey teaches us to embrace the limitations of time and place that we have as created beings, liberating us from the feeling that we need to be everywhere at once. Read this book to discover how to be intentional with your time, living each day fully and faithfully present with God and with others. Be equipped to find contentment in every season of life as you learn to see God in every moment of your here and now.

In the past few years, I’ve begun to develop a personal ecclesiology of being what I call a “faithful presence.” In the community I live in, there is very little church presence with only two sparsely-attended churches. Lacking much opportunity to partner with a church, I instead began to focus on simply being a faithful presence—being where God put me and open to the calling of the Spirit. Faithfully Present hits many of those same notes, with Adam Ramsey speaking of the importance of being fully present in the moment God has placed us.

Faithfully Present covers the element of place, but the majority of the book focuses on time and being content with our current state in life and finding God’s calling and fulfillment in the present moment. Faithfulness in the present season might be stepping back and taking a wider perspective on the life that might seem exhausting, frustrating, or difficult. It is an invitation to notice the small mercies that God gives along the way and to savor the current moment rather than rush on to the next. Some times will be busy, others will be more relaxed. Some times will be filled with waiting and anticipation; other times will be filled with activity.

The latter section of Faithfully Present covers place. I was a bit disappointed that Ramsey spent only one chapter talking about physical place. Perhaps because I’ve found myself living in different and unfamiliar places over the past few years—and planning a new move currently—the concept of being faithfully present in a place is on my mind. The other elements of place Ramsey covers include embodiment, relationships, and eternity.

Overall, Faithfully Present is fine. I felt like it was a bit superficial and generic. It never really got down deep into substantive discussions of why being a faithful presence is difficult. It’s exhortative without delving into why such a presence is a struggle. It’s a welcome introduction to the topic, but lacks depth to go further into it. I will admit to being a bit disappointed, and maybe that’s just because the book wasn’t for me.