Sometimes you have to hit the brakes and change direction.
I’ve labored over a light-hearted seasonal column for several days now. The subject didn’t arrive without effort and the words followed suit. As I watched a 9/11 memorial on TV this morning I realized that it was time to put that column aside, at least for now.
My parents were in their 40’s when I was born. They left my life too soon, but I’m grateful for their stories. Mama and Daddy described the Great Depression and World War II not as historical events, but parts of their lives. They recalled where they were and what they were doing when they learned that Pearl Harbor had been bombed. I didn’t truly relate to that story until September 11, 2001.
Not one of you, dear readers, needs a description of that day. After the first two airplanes made their final, fatal descents, scores of heroes appeared: first responders rushing into danger as others fled, office workers helping each other escape the flames, the passengers of Flight 93 choosing to die as valiant soldiers rather than helpless victims.
Every September 11 I think of the people who left their homes that morning with a long list of concerns on their minds. Mortgages. Quarterly reports. A son’s ‘D’ in math. An aging mother’s forgetfulness. I imagine many folks walked into their workplaces weighed down with worry.
Maybe others commuted with lists of another kind swirling through their brains. First I’ll do this, then I’ll do that, and finally I’ll reach my destination.
And then they were gone.
Living in the moment isn’t a New Age philosophy; it’s reality. God doesn’t promise us another week, another hour or even another minute. But we have the present, and that’s enough.
When you resolve to appreciate each moment the world starts to open up like a flower. You notice the crescent moon surrounded by gauzy clouds as you drive home and crickets jumping in your path as you cut the grass. You take in your husband’s smile as if for the first time.
See the beauty of the earth. Listen to the people God has made. Love the ones He has placed in your life. Notice the moment.