Speaker and author Jon Acuff (StuffChristiansLike & JonAcuff.com) opened Catalyst West 2012, speaking to this year’s theme, “Be Present.”

Sometimes in your life, it’s easy to focus on what’s “next” to be disconnected from what’s “right now.”

At these points, we can hear family and friends tell us, “I wish you were here.” Instead of being present, we find ourselves distracted, seeking to please others rather than enjoying the people in front of us.

3 Ways to be Sure you Remain Present

1. Don’t get lost in the comparison game.

This is hard. You see this at events, when you hear what other people and organizations are doing, and you wish you could be more like them. You never do “fair” comparisons, either. You compare yourself to the best of the best. What we often do is compare our “beginning” to someone else’s “middle.” The Enemy loves when we get lost in this comparison game, making us feel “entitled” and “deserving.”

2. Be smart about social media.

In some ways, we’re all becoming reality TV stars in our own little world. When Jon went on vacation, he disengaged from social media. And in the process, he was able to be present for the vacation, rather than just a documenter. It’s time to be present…not time for everybody around you to say, “Please pay attention.”

3. Quit listening to the voices.

Nobody’s internal voices are ever positive. You think they’re your friends, but voices of fear and doubt are foes. Voices of fear and doubt want to take us away from being “present.” 90% perfect and published is always better than 100% perfect and stuck in your head.

“Who are you to do that?” is often a voice we hear. One of fear’s greatest goals is isolation. Fear fears community.

What if the reason that God is silent is because He’s planning your party? (Re: Prodigal Son)

Jesus was always present

1. He was available.

He had long, slow dinners with people though he could’ve been teaching tens of thousands every evening.

2. He rested.

Jesus rested, so why do we think we don’t have to? Isaiah 30:15: “In repentance and rest is your salvation. Quietness and trust is your strength.” We’ve rewritten this, because it’s hard to yell this at people. We’ve rewritten this to say, “Efficienty and repentance” or “productivity and repentance” instead of “rest and repentance.”

3. He knew his role.

We often get confused about out roles. We put too much pressure on ourselves…pressure that God doesn’t even put on yourself. God’s not surprised or disappointed by the size of our ministry. Proverbs 21:1: The king’s heart is in the hands of the Lord.” Some days, water moves rapidly. Some times itit slows down to go deeper. And water doesn’t ever get to talk back to the water maker and give suggestions. It just gets to be water.

Question: What is your biggest source of distraction right now?