Friday, June 1, 2012

A Beautiful Life: Forever in a Moment

So tell me, how do you spend your days? When the alarm goes off and you smash the snooze button for the first time, what thought first occupies the space of your mind? What expression do you first cover your face with as your feet find the surface of the floor? How do you greet the mundane parts of your breathing and moving?

If you think right now of your day today... what kidnaps your thoughts? Tell me, how do you define yourself in this moment?

It occurs to me that much of our allotment on this existence is spent in routine actions. We sleep, we wake, we wash, we eat, we work. Our shuffling makes a difference whether we intend it to do so or it happens by default... and then we repeat. 

We seem to exist at a point between the obligatory mundanedness of our days and the problems that impede our stagnation. Whether we greet a morning and find expectation or surprise... it seems that we are inclined to view that morning through clouded glasses of hassle, impatience, and unsatisfaction.

And yet... there are moments that surround us that beg us to simply take notice. Look again at the picture at the top of this page. Do you see our expressions? Or, how about this one...

A degree of preparation went into these pictures of which you can likely identify. We originally scheduled a date and it rained. Oh... and I should tell you that these pictures were originally intended to be taken 3 years ago, but our adoption required 6 years rather than the 3 expected. The day finally arrived that we where to have them made and we realized that we had no clothes selected... our house was in disarray with the preparation of our move.

Once the proofs were sent to us... I realized that I had managed to grab the same shirt that I had used the last time we had our family photographed! Seriously? I grumbled to myself that I was becoming old and predictable. 

We flipped through the photos and found that we did not look as we expected. The photography was brilliant, but we did not achieve a single shot that captured normality. In every photograph... someone had a bad expression, a weird body posture, or was facing away from the camera. Kellie told me I was being too picky. I huffed and took a break.

When I came back... for whatever reason, I saw different photographs. I saw digital captures of a family interacting. I saw the family that we had somehow against all the odds become. I had tears in my eyes as I looked at us for the first time and realized that we were a God touched collection: a dad, a mom, a big brother, a big sister, and a baby sister. In these moments... the camera had captured our happiness.

And so... how do I greet the rise of the light each day? Do I grumble about grass to be mowed, appointments to be made, dishes that need to be washed by hand, clothes to be ironed and folded, calls to be made, passages to be read, conversations to be held, and expectations to be fulfilled? How often do I rob myself by missing moments that materialize and then puff away before my eyes? How is it that I do not daily see the incredible beauty of life that surrounds me?

Sometimes we need to close our mouths, open our eyes and our ears. This is our life. This is the life we have chosen. This is were we belong. We are children of God. We are walking a path that was made for us before our first steps. I am in awe of the perspective of my 17 month old daughter. Her smile and laughter in these past few months has taught me more than I have learned in previous years.

Please... do not miss the beauty of your day. I beg you, do not let simple everyday worries consume you. We are promised that our God knows our days and the very number of our hairs. Do we not believe that He is greater than our mundane as well as our unexpected? How is it that we can fear for tomorrow if we believe that He holds our eternity? 

I find His grace sufficient. My greatest qualification of being a missionary is simply my utter dependence on the mercy of God. Let the worries of the day come. My God is greater. His grace is sufficient. His strength is perfect.

Philippians 4:8

The Message (MSG)
 8-9Summing it all up, friends, I'd say you'll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse.

How do you greet your days?

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