For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: 2 a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; 3 a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; 4 a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; 5 a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; 6 a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; 7 a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; 8 a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.
– Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
The last few days I have really been thinking a lot about the importance of the moment. Some of it might have something to do with the reading that I have been doing in Ecclesiastes. Solomon comes back time and again and talks about how we need to enjoy where we are rather than focusing on where we could be.
The picture at the top of this blog was done by my daughter the other night while we ate supper. She had started to draw a horse, but she made a mistake and said she needed something she could see to draw. I said use me! So, she began and this was the result. I am always amazed at her ability, but that evening I was amazed at something else.
As we sat there around the table and watched her draw we were haveing a great time talking, laughing, and just really enjoying the moment we were spending together. I think this is something my family is very good at, but it is something that I personally struggle with. We were just having fun and were completely engaged with each other. I can honestly say that it was the most fun I have had in months, and it probably has made the top 10 in my life!
Why? Why would sitting at a table in a cafe just north of Buttcrack, MI watching my daughter doodle on a placemat bring me such joy? More importantly, how can I keep doing it? I have been thinking a lot about that the last couple of days, and this is what I have come up with:
I was THERE! – I was completely in the moment. I was focused on my daughter’s drawing ability, on her insecurity when something didn’t look right to her. I was focused on my son as he cracked jokes about how big my head was in the picture, I was watching the smile on my wife’s face as we all “played” together. There was nothing on my mind at the time other than what was happening at that table. It was a moment of complete joy and a family memory was born that will never fade.
It was IMPORTANT! – So many things pull at my mind in the course of a day. Even on vacation I think of work, things that need to be done at home, what we need to accomplish today. I have even already had the thought of how I am going to pack the truck for the trip home, and that is 5 days away! How sick is that? The thing is, while those things do have a level of importance, they are minor issues unless I make them major. At that time, the most important thing in my life was seeing the happiness of my family, and it made a huge impact on the moment.
It was a MOMENT! – A moment is not a life, but my life is made up of moments, and how I live each of those moments will define my life. A moment doesn’t take a lot of time, but I tend to think of a moment as some amazingly huge integer of time that cannot be wasted by thinking of only one thing! Truth is, they call it a moment because it is not a significant amount of time, but so many important things happen in a moment, and you will miss them if you are not paying attention.
Today, August 20, is my 19th wedding anniversary. I am married to an amazing woman, and we are so much alike in so many ways. One of the ways we are alike is that we are both big picture people. We are dreamers. We are planners. We are organized. This trait gives us the ability to work together to accomplish some amazing things as a couple. I’m so thankful for a wife that I can do those things with! We “get” each other!
However, the other night at dinner a light bulb went on in my mind as I saw something in her that I do not have. Tammi has the ability to pull back from the big picture and see the moment. She sees the importance of taking the time to be completely engaged in what is going on in front of her. She sees the importance of what is important! Maybe this is why she seems to smile a lot! (She says I scowl a lot, but I never see it!)
So, I have something new to work on. While the big picture is important for keeping a life on track and organized, I need to do a better job of shifting gears to the moments that make up my life. That is where life happens. That is where the joy is found. That is where I will look back one day and say I had a good life. That is giving everything its season in my life.
I’m so blessed to have spent the last 19 years married to this woman given to me by God. She has taught me so much, and I know that is why God has given her to me. I’m thankful that I know her better now than I did 19 years ago, but I know that there are going to be many more moments in our lives that will allow me to know her better! It is going to be a fun life, and I want to do a better job at being there for it!
How about you? Are you living your moments? I hope this makes you think as much as it has made me think. Feel free to let me know if you have had a moment that you can look back on as a real moment of life!
In HIS Grip,