The Anchoress has a wonderful bit on this topic and a charming video which she describes as, “a sweetly evocative scene of the joys of anticipation to which we – in our era of immediate gratification – no longer allow ourselves.”
The most important moment of your life is happening right now. I think it can be a sign of the Holy Spirit moving in God’s people when many of us start thinking about the same thing. Or it could just be that we all talk to each other and hear and read what each other are saying and start to repeat the same things. But in this case I like the more super-natural explanation. The most important moment of your whole life is now, because is the only moment you can effect. That past is done, though it may have consequences that we have to deal with now. And the future isn’t here yet, though we probably will have some plans to make for it. But all in all we live in the flow of time, we live in the moment.
No matter how much we plan, how much we reflect, none of that is as important as how we live the moment we are in. Being intentionally and fully engaged in what we are doing give the moments of our lives meaning. Allowing ourselves to be distracted from the present by juggling the hectic pace of modern life with the real needs of ourselves and those in our lives robs us, not just of our peace, but of the quality of life that God intends His children to experience. Everything we do can be impacted by a lack of intention or made more meaningful when done with intention.
I have been spending a good deal of time thinking about the whole idea of intentionally living in each moment lately. I find that it makes me a better person, a better mother, a better wife, a better friend. But it is hard to do. It is almost stupefying difficult at times to focus on where I am and what I am doing without feeling pressed by all those many, many things on my “to do” list.
Yesterday my daughter Hannah had her end of the year ballet performance (I didn’t get pictures, but you can see some of the classes here). Six and seven year-old girls were dressed in white tulle tutus and their black leotards, pink tights and shoes. Their hair was up and decorated with ribbons and little flowers. Their dancing was a combination of the joy of having mastered some of their steps and the intense concentration in parts where they were less certain.
I remembered back to my own days of studying ballet. How it was not just a matter of training the body but the mind had to be fully engaged — evaluating and adjusting and correcting each position and step, listening to the music, staying on beat, anticipating the next move as it effected the current one. The heart and soul became part of the music and turned what was otherwise nothing but an aerobic set of motions into art.
These little girls, there before their parents, siblings and friends, sharing with the most important people in the world the moment they were living most fully. That is what I want to capture more in my life everyday, intensely, fully and intentionally living every moment God sees fit to bless me with.