Faithfully Present: Embracing the Limits of Where and When God Has You – 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 live each day fully and faithfully present with God and with others, content in every season of life.

Most of us feel that life is rushing past us. We reach the end of another day or week or year and wonder where it went. So we double down on trying to do more or do better―or distract ourselves with the many diversions the 21st century has to offer. But often we’re so busy thinking about the next thing that we’re at risk of missing the main thing: the people and places God has put in front of us, right here, right now.

There is a better way to live. In this thought-provoking book, Adam Ramsey helps us to embrace the time and place we are in and to live each day fully and faithfully present with God and with others. Readers will discover fresh joy in the little things, freedom from the tyranny of time, and contentment in every season of life.

Adam Ramsey shares helpful insights about the importance of accepting when and where you are in life, making the most of your present moment instead of constantly looking for the next thing and fighting your natural limitations. He shares wisdom from Scripture about topics like accepting different life seasons, learning how to slow down and rest, persevering during times of waiting, and dealing with the mingled joy and sadness of nostalgia. Throughout the book, Ramsey includes anecdotes from his own life, and he also shares examples and illustrations from other people. This book speaks to many different life stages and struggles, and although I sometimes felt that it was too general, this is a good flyover view of the topic.

Eight chapters of this book focus on time, and only four address a sense of place. Those chapters are about earthly places, embodiment, human relationships, and eternity, and it surprised me that Ramsey only devoted a single chapter to accepting where you are geographically. Even in the chapter about earthly places, he isn’t very thorough with the topic, especially since he also spends time writing about the disembodied nature of the Internet. In my opinion, that topic warrants its own chapter, especially since the Internet isn’t solely the absence of a place. It is its own unique type of place, and we can engage with it best when we view it that way, instead of treating it as an extra dimension that we dip into and out of in unfocused, mindless ways.

I think that this book would have benefited from a separate chapter about the Internet, both to treat that topic more fully and to not undercut the already limited content about engaging with physical places. I really would have liked to see more on that theme, especially because so many people struggle to accept their immediate surroundings, like with wishing that they had a nicer house and lived in a different neighborhood, longing for a place they’ve left behind, or wishing they lived somewhere more sophisticated, or where they think that they could really do big things for God. There’s a lot to explore here that this book doesn’t really address.

Faithfully Present: Embracing the Limits of Where and When God Has You is a thoughtful reflection on the importance of engaging with your current stage of life, instead of rushing around in an endless hurry, longing for the past, or always trying to get to the future. Adam Ramsey shares helpful insights from Scripture and from life experience, and this book can encourage adults and teens who are struggling with contentment. However, this book mainly focuses on “when,” not “where.” This is primarily for people who want to grow in how they think about and engage with time, and it offers only brief, passing perspectives on the role of physical places in our lives.