Living through bruises, scrapes, dislocated shoulders, cavities, chemistry corrections, flat tires, airport delays, toilets that need cleaning and carpets that need vacuuming, diets when cakes (sadly) have too many calories in them…
The moments I just described aren’t fun, romantic, or beautiful — not like the things I usually like to write about. All these things are annoying. A nuisance.
But hard things, small and big, are a part of life. Life has sections of good and bad, broken hopes and fulfilled dreams, hunger and fill, floods of tears and bubbles of joy. All the chapters of your past, present, and future make up the book of you, your life. All your experiences turn into memories, and what you do with your memories turns into your attitude.
“It’s not what you do, it’s how you do it. It’s not what you see, it’s how you see it. It’s not what your life is, it’s how you live it.”
It’s How You View The Moments
Your life might not magically become perfect overnight and your circumstances might not change, but your attitude can. Through first world problems, regular problems, or everyday life, you have thousands of moments to cry or smile or laugh.
You have 86,400 seconds to be exact.
How often are you going to let ten seconds of a bad thing — such as someone tearing you down — ruin the rest of the 86,390? You may not be able to change them or the circumstances in your life. But you can change your mindset and you can change the way you think; you can change how you view the few moments you have.
It’s how you live.
It’s How You Use the Moments
Are we spending our days waiting for the future, swiping our iPhones, restless? Not taking advantage of the many opportunities, little as they may seem, to live?
Don’t waste the now.
There are hard things in our life, hard decisions, and circumstances and nasty wounds. But don’t dwell on them, don’t give up, because life isn’t all struggling and fighting. Perhaps the chapter now you are now living will be looked back on as a treasure. Perhaps a humorous one of laughter. Maybe you’ll look back and feel proud of yourself because you never gave up. Maybe one day in heaven you’ll smile at the perilous yet successful journey you went through to become responsible, or become a prayer warrior, or overcome temptations through God’s help.
Maybe one day, a day far, far away…you will remember when you overcame, you pushed through, you kept going, today.
It’s How You Notice the Moments
I read an adventure book once, and although it was a children’s story, something in it hit me straight in the heart. A tourist (the main character) was walking through the jungle, and his guide had to diligently guard his life because the tourist kept stepping on snakes, walking through spider webs, and being overrun with exotic insects.
Shaking his head, the guide told the tourist to keep his eyes open. “But I am looking!” the tourist said.
At that, the guide made a profound remark: “Don’t just look, but see.”
Don’t just look. Notice the joys. Don’t just glaze over it, waiting for the next day to come. Life can be beautiful and spectacular if you will only see.
Sometimes life means exploring in the meadows, brushing off bugs and having picnics with shabby blankets and peanut butter sandwiches. Sometimes life means stepping on a plane for the first time, embarking on an unexpectedly adventurous trip that goes above and beyond your expectations.
Sometimes it’s burning cookies in the oven, dusting the abyss behind the couch, or making cards for your elderly neighbor. Sometimes it’s simply laying down in a swinging hammock on a summer day, feeling a breeze softly curling around you, and watching the forest life behind.
It could be almost missing a flight to Mexico and running through the airport. It’s exploring the wild jungles or dancing through the aisles in Walmart at midnight. Sometimes it’s leading worship, sometimes it’s kneeling at the altar, and sometimes it’s reflecting in your journal. It’s not ignoring the hard parts of life. It’s just learning from them, enjoying what you can and making good use of the life God has for you.
And there are only a few moments left like these. You have approximately 4,000 Saturdays to spend. I’ve already used 871. But the truth is, you never know how many you have left. You never know if this will be your last day, your last moment, your last breath.
So turn off the phone and see. See the world. See the wonder of God’s beauty. Open your eyes. Take risks. And live.
Life is a crazy adventure. Don’t let it pass you by.