The wind, in its usual hurry, pushed the water into clumsy waves. I stood on the banks of the San Francisco Bay and listened to them lapping against the rocks, my scarf fluttering on the breeze. “The year is almost over, God,” I whispered into the wind. “Thank you for all the many blessings and opportunities you gave to me. I look forward to the New Year.”
“You’re most welcome, Sparrow,” God answered. He rested His hand upon my shoulder. “Let’s be quiet for a few moments and appreciate what is here before us.” I felt the cold wind upon my face. I heard the gulls crying as they circled overhead. I felt God’s love burrow deeper into my heart and soul. “The past year was made up of moments, just like this one,” God explained. “The coming New Year will be made of the same. It’s what you will choose to do with those moments that will determine your health and happiness.”
“I want your love to guide my moments,” I said.
“Then it will be another good year,” God answered and patted my back. We stood together, watching the choppy water until I had to leave to join my children for our New Year’s Eve celebration. But before I left, I reached out my arms and hugged God, holding Him close to my heart.
“Do everything in love.”
~1 Corinthians 16:14
One hot summer’s afternoon, I opened my bedroom window to hear the sound of the rain. “Close the window,” my grandmother admonished me when she came into my room. “You’re letting all of the cold air out.” I turned the hand crank and slowly brought the pane of glass back to its closed position. I didn’t understand what she meant. I thought that she meant that we might run out of air. I was too young to understand about air-conditioning.
Recently someone told me that I love too much. Were they worried I might somehow run out? I thought of my grandmother’s warning on that hot afternoon. I shook my head in disagreement. I knew, just like I knew when I was a little girl, that there is enough. Air, love—it’s all the same. We don’t run out if we open the window or our hearts.
I missed out on the symphony of a July downpour that day I closed the window. I’d hate to think what I’d miss if I I close my heart.
“Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!”
~2 Corinthians 9:15
My garden needed tending today. I sat on the ground and pushed a trowel deep into the dirt, liberating spent summer annuals from the soft earth. Soon, I’ll plant spring bloomers to fill the barren spaces. The air was delightfully crisp, the sky so blue that it appeared as if someone had painted it.
My thoughts turned to my challenges ahead. As I tried to work out solutions for them in my mind, God tapped me on my shoulder. “Don’t think about the things you fear,” He encouraged me. “Just be glad you are here.”
“Thank you, for reminding me,” I said and plunged my trowel deep into the earth again. It’s a waste of my time and energy to worry about the future. I’m here, right now. That is all that matters.
I looked at the beauty all around me in the garden. I felt the winter’s sun on my skin. I felt the breeze brush past me. What a gift, this breath, this heartbeat. I’m here! So are you. Today, don’t think about the things you fear, just be grateful that you are here.
“Oh give thanks to the Lord…”
A cold wind blows down from the Sierra’s. I pull my scarf up around my head, hoping to ward off the chill. I’m walking in the fold of the day where the morning turns into the fullness of the afternoon. A handful of leaves scatter across the street and then settle. Their small racket stirs within me memories of winters past; nights spent in front of crackling fires with friends. I hold their faces in my heart and I’m warmed. Overhead, the warning of a crow, a shrill crisp note, called over and over, breaks the quiet. Further down the road, I walk past a woman sitting in a rocker on her front porch. She waves to me as if we are long-lost friends. I smile and return the wave. I’m glad to be alive on this blustery day.
I promise myself that when I return home I will make an entry in my journal: “Today is a good day.” I’ll thumb through old posts and read of the days when I was barely surviving. They remind me how amazing my life is now. I haven’t won the lottery, or made a lot of money, or been asked for my hand in marriage, but still, it’s a good day. I’ve felt the wind. I’ve heard the sounds of nature. I’ve remembered friends and waved to a stranger. These small things that seem so inconsequential are the things that make life worth living. I give thanks to God for them.
“For God is not a God of confusion but of peace.”
~1 Corinthians 14:33
I sat down on the damp earth in the garden and watched three gray geese swim across the sky, their wings parting the air with graceful strokes. There was a determination in their flight as if they had made the decision to fly over my cottage a lifetime ago. I was mesmerized by their beauty. I closed my eyes and listened to their lonesome cries drift back to me: “Hur-lick!” “Hur-lick!” I felt God’s peace fill my soul until it momentarily brimmed, then overflowed.
I opened my eyes to see the geese— now small dots on the distant horizon—languidly heading to wherever it was that God had directed their flight. I stood up and brushed away the leaves and twigs that had stuck to my pants. With sure steps, I strode back out into my day, as if I had made the decision a lifetime ago. Perhaps I had.
“Perhaps this is the moment for which you have been created.”
What are you doing right now? Sure, you’re reading these words, but what else are you doing in your life? Are you a mother? A father? A student? A business owner? Maybe you volunteer your time, helping others. Whatever your life endeavors are today, perhaps this is the very moment for which God created you!
When we think that this moment is the very reason for which we’ve been called into existence, it makes this moment exceptionally precious. The truth is, very few of us know the exact moment for which we’ve been created. Knowing that we may never know keeps us on our toes. What if it is this moment? Or this one? Or the next? When we live our life as if *every* moment is the one for which we’ve been created, our entire lives take on a fuller, richer feel. We live more purposefully. We take less for granted.
Look around you today. Notice how many lives your life touches. Maybe that smile you give to a stranger who is deep in despair is the very reason God created you. Maybe it’s the hug you give to your child or your spouse. Maybe it’s your delay at a red light that keeps an accident from happening. Live your life today as if every second matters. Live your life as if this moment is everything, because it is. It is all you have. It’s the only place where you can access God. And it very well may be, the moment for which you were called into existence.