About five years ago I heard a great comment. I have to paraphrase it, but it went like this, “If you spend time dwelling on the past or worrying about the future you will most likely miss what is happening right in front of you now.” Those words stuck with me. They are the words that make me pause and take in what is happening all around me. Sometimes it is stopping to watch a sunset. Sometimes it is just enjoying a hug from my wife on a Sunday night when, in the past, I would normally have been feeling bad the weekend is coming to a close. Most of the time these are small moments that become larger moments because now I slow down and take those moments in.
So often I read about how single moments change someone’s life. Often that single moment has incredible circumstances. Circumstances like walking away from a car accident, or a powerful conversion of heart due to prayer.
I haven’t had one of those moments in my life. Not a powerful one. The closest I have happened three years ago today. It is the anniversary of my life changing event. The moment that stopped me in my tracks was holding my little daughter in my hands for the first time.
It took a little time before the real moment came to me.
First, believe it or not, I actually looked past this little girl and at her mom. A short time earlier I watched this women give birth. Watching the process of birth proved to me that all I can do is act “tough”. Giving birth, well that is the true sign of being tough.
Then my mind drifted towards the situation life just handed me. I’m in my 40th year on this earth. Forty years of looking out for pretty much myself and, for the last 20 years, my wife. Now, I’m looking at this little newborn. She is going to not only rely on me for food and shelter, but oh so much more. I didn’t know if I was up to that task. It was at this point the emotions began to swirl. I was completely overwhelmed.
As the emotions swirled the words at the start of this post rang in my head. Stop looking back. Stop worrying about what is to come. Just look down at this little girl in your lap. Those little eyes, that little nose, that bundle of life sleeping in my hands. Then came the moment, she woke up. She looked up at me and that tiny hand wrapped around my finger. Who knew a chilly little hand wrapped around my finger could melt a heart?
It was then the world not only stopped, but time didn’t matter, nothing mattered. There were only three things I was capable of doing; prayers of thankgiving, crying, and just being in the moment.
Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote, “Guard well your spare moments. They are like uncut diamonds. Discard them and their value will never be known. Improve them and they will become the brightest gems in a useful life.”
Three years ago today a moment went from uncut to the most shining diamond I’ve ever placed my eyes upon.