I stood outside one warm summer evening watching a setting sun pink sky and land with a dazzling array of rosy shades. The sun had barely fallen beyond the mountainous horizon when two bright pinpoints lined up perfectly with a little slip of a crescent moon. Venus and Jupiter dancing together, the night's first pair, in a silent symphony of contrasts and then as the night darkened, more and more pinpricks of light grew in brightness and soon the dome of the sky became milky with just a singular section of one spiraling arm of our galaxy, small in comparison to innumerable others.
In that moment, I felt the awe of it...the greatness of creation...the magnificence of our God, our LORD, the Great I AM. It can only be held onto for a flash by human minds too finite for such infinite sights and thoughts. And that's okay. To revel in the joy of the moment...to throw grateful arms heavenward...to know that God is good, His creation truly fascinating and beyond comprehension...to sink into the moment without distractions is enough. It brings the gifts of peace, joy and the healing of us.
Ann Voskamp says we have to figure out a way to stay awake to our "one wild and beautiful life." She reminds us that all we have are moments..."microscopic, fleeting moments." She asks, "How many moments of our lives have our eyes been wide open--but we have been rushing, racing, sleeping right through?"
I was a rusher and a racer. I ran from one activity to the next and, if I am honest, I not only had an addiction to the rush of busyness, I had more than a little pride in my busy life...until it started to strangle me to death. I had a two-word answer to the question we are asked by everyone, from our best friends to the checker as we unload our groceries on that continually rotating belt. (Hadn't realized it until just now...that belt is a pretty good word picture for the subject of this post:) You know the question...we ask it and we answer it everyday: "How are you?" My two word answer: "Crazy busy!" How true that answer was. I was completely crazy in my busyness. So crazy that I gave up precious things for the "pressing and urgent need." I rushed through or completely jumped over moments I could have spent with my ever-growing children to pursue my agenda at work. My upside down world needed to change. And it did, thank God, but not without a fair amount of wrestling with God and myself.
Here is what my children and grandchildren remember most. The moments we stopped to enjoy: the evening planet Mars was closest to the earth and we wore aluminum foil hats and ate Mars bars...the day we watched a hummingbird feasting on a huge sunflower...
had a picnic in the backyard...painted a mural on the underside of our dining room table like Michelangelo and his Sistine Chapel...(ours wasn't quite so elaborate:)
made donuts from refrigerated biscuits...and the list could go on and on. I hope I thanked God for such moments. I do now because I realize how valuable they are...treasure in my life...gifts of never to be repeated moments from the hand of God.
For the most part, these moments are free. Well, I guess they do cost you something...time. So take some time to share a moment with God and with others. Look around and see what He has given and take note, give thanks. Look up with eyes and a heart to take in the grandeur and beauty of a night sky. Wake to all the joy that surrounds you! Share it and give thanks. Write it down as a memorial to God's goodness. Sadly, the truth is if I don't write it down, I won't remember. My gratitude journal delights me all the time just in the reading and remembering. All those moments would have been lost, but the writing down preserved them so the gift continues to bring joy far after the moment.
Find a journal and a nice pen (I do LOVE a nice pen) and begin a journey to milestone your gifts.
Much like the Israelites in the Old Testament piled rocks to remind them of God's great goodness, we make neat piles of words to remind us that He is Emmanuel...God With Us always and everyday. He is our Adonai, our Great Master, who loves to give sweet gifts to His servants!
If you are "crazy busy," S.T.O.P.! Plant your feet, take a deep breath and see what God has for you. You will be pleasantly surprised.
Blessings, to you, my friends, of moments that awaken your joy!!