I’m not sure why, but I have a natural tendency to focus on one event to the next. It’s like I’m jumping, not walking, from one moment to another. For example, if I have a speaking engagement, a vacation, a meeting, or some other event coming up, I tend to focus on whatever that future event is more than the days in between. Then, once one event is completed, my mind jumps to focus on the next event coming.
I don’t like this tendency. Granted, it helps me be prepared and engaged for when the “time” comes, but what about all the days, or hours in between? Aren’t they just as valuable?
Perhaps they’re even more valuable. For these “in between” days are when I get to shoot basketball with my son in our driveway, take slow strolls with my wife around the neighborhood, and sit with my daughter to share in all her teenage adventures.
All these things and more occur during the “in between”. Yet, they don’t occupy my attention like my checklist does. Once something gets checked off, I move to the next. When nothing is there to check, that’s when I get to relax. My gear ratio runs high, so, I relish my “off time”. Maybe that’s why I look forward to checking things off? So, I can “hang loose”.
However, life is more than just our “action” moments and “hang loose” moments. It’s all our moments – they together make up life. Being fully present at all times and enjoying all our moments is a learned behavior. I don’t think it comes natural, at least not for me. The question is, can we learn to be fully engaged and present in every moment?
This is where perspective comes in. It’s understanding that work is not the most important thing in life, vacation is not the most important, meetings are not the most important – the gift of today is.
Today is the most important because it’s all we have. It’s all we’re promised (Psalm 118:24). May we all live life to the fullest and that means planning, preparing, and scheduling, but it also includes appreciating each day we have been given. To be fully tuned in, making the most of each opportunity, and valuing the moments as they come.
Which of our days will our love-ones define as their “big” moments with us?
My guess is they may differ from ours. When we look back on our life, and they look back on theirs, which moments will matter most? We can’t know for sure – therefore, may we be fully present and engaged each day and with each person we have been granted time to be with.
As we learn to do this we become more effective in our three primary objectives as Christians: To share the gospel in love, to make disciples by investing our time with others, and growing in our faith to be more like Christ each passing day.
Jesus never rushed from one moment to the next. He lived fully present in each day, in each moment, and with each person. He lived life to the fullest and invested His days to the glorify God. What a privilege we have to do the same.