Saturday, April 22, 2017

“Sometimes it's the same moments that take your breath away that breathe purpose and love back into your life.” ― Steve Maraboli

                        Our lives aren’t filled with decades or even years.  Just like television screens that are not one single picture but thousands of small dots of light called pixels, so our lives are made up not of one big thing but of thousands, maybe millions of little things.  Our lives are made of millions of “moments in time,” and it is those moments that make us who we are.  The day a boy first rides a bike by himself, when that boy as a man first sees his bride walking down the aisle toward him, the moment he holds his first child and feels the joy of those little fingers around his big one, the first time he recognizes the presence of God in his life—moments like that.  As parents, our moments include our wedding days, the graduations of our children, the quiet time when one small hand reaches for a large one just to feel the warmth and love.  It is also moments like the first time we see a rarity of nature, a bald eagle soaring above, or a lion mother nursing her cubs, or even the eager licking of our face by a puppy who knows only love.  For some, it’s a moment you never expected to capture on a photograph, but there it is.  A hug when you really needed one, a loved one remembering a special moment and sharing it with you—all these make up who we are.  Maybe heaven is just reliving all those moments over and over for the joy, relief, comfort, love, and happiness they represent.  I remember the first day I took my son to school and he cried because he didn’t want to leave me—that was special.  I also remember the first time he couldn’t wait to get out of the car to rush to school without even a backward glance—that made me cry.  I remember the feeling of exhausted joy upon reaching the summit of a mountain in the winter and the excitement of reaching the bottom of the Grand Canyon.  I remember the feel of the helm of an America’s Cup yacht off the coast of St. Martin, and I remember all the moments when loved ones were spotted getting off a plane and smiling as they rushed toward me.  I remember the Thanksgiving dinners, the small school joys of each of our boys, and the time John, aged five, made Fortune Cookies all over the kitchen floor.  I remember bringing every child home from the hospital to his new home (not being sexist, I just have three sons).  I also remember the moment when water came gushing from a well that would provide water for three villages and the people cheered because of something one of my sons had done.  I remember the shy smile of a three-year-old orphan girl as I handed her a plate of rice and beans.  I remember the big grin of an evangelist that got both a new bicycle and five new Swahili Bibles.  I especially remember the moment we gave a boy who had been crippled since birth a hand-cranked bicycle as my oldest son watched (see picture at the right).  The first words that came from that boy’s mouth were, “Now, I can help my family.”  My son and I both cried.  God has given me seventy-two years so far, and He has filled them with moments of joy and euphoria and let me share them with a woman I love; moments of pain and loss, and the extreme happiness of being at the right place at the right time to provide the service He had asked of me.  It is not the daily grind that fills our lives and keeps us going, it is the memories of past wonderful moments and the expectation of more that fills our hearts and souls.  I remember a beautiful woman saying, "I do."  I remember the head man of a village in the Peruvian Amazon who said, “Didn’t you understand that we are all Christians?”  I remember the small nun in Greece who told me to remember her in my heart and not on a picture.  I remember the moment when that still small voice, asked, “Who will go for us?” and I replied, “Here I am, send me.”  Live for the moments, keep the moments alive in your hearts, and expect even greater moments to come, for God never disappoints.  We are so very blessed, especially if we can remember the moments that have made us so.
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