Back in my 20’s, I loved this quote from missionary Jim Elliot: “Wherever you are, be all there! Live to the hilt every situation you believe to be the will of God.”
Wherever I am, I want to be all there.
Being “all there” means so many things to me: it means not always wishing for a different situation; it means fully embracing the gifts God gives in every place; and it means actively seeking to discover those gifts that sometimes come hidden or disguised. It means loving others fully without focusing on myself. I want to be “all there” for other people around me.
I’m all there to observe the nature around me.
I’m all there to listen to others and really see them.
I’m all there to receive what God has.
I’m all there with finding friendship with God all day long. He’s “all there” all the time.
Being “all there” also means to learn new ways of living and to try on new ways to live a life. I thought of Jim Elliot’s quote when I laughed about all the different foods I love while traveling in North Carolina. I’m “all there” for the fried okra, BLT’s with Duke’s Mayo (people in the south are serious about their mayonnaise), coconut cake, fried chicken, and, of course, pimento cheese sandwiches (if you know, you know).
Yes–I’m all there for southern food. I said it.
I’ve also learned to be “all there” in taking on the rhythms of relaxing at the lake house we visit every summer. Here I am at White Lake. I’ve learned to relax on the water and do nothing. Yes, I’m “all there” for a few days where the core values aren’t efficiency, productivity, or impact. The core values involve finding turtles, eating great food, playing cards, and putting on sunscreen for the afternoon boat ride.
I’m all there.