A Life of Moments
"Acknowledge and take to heart this day that the Lord is God in heaven above and on the earth below. There is no other. Keep his decrees and commands, which I am giving you today, so that it may go well with you and your children after you and that you may live long in the land the Lord your God gives you for all time. (Deuteronomy 4:39-40, NIV)
Take one full second and close your eyes; then open them. Usually, our eyes blink shut then open again much quicker than a full second. Why this silly exercise? I've been muddling about in my head trying to attach some sort of significance to an event that occurred this morning. At approximately one fifty-one I was awakened. I blame it on a 61 year-old bladder. Perhaps it was something else. As I trudged to the bathroom, it dawned on me that in about 30 minutes an event would occur that would last in essence the length of 60 eye blinks.
A great hullabaloo was made 20 days ago of the unique 2/2/2022 date with coinciding 2:22.22 AM time. I might have been a bit facetious in my lament of having missed setting my alarm for 2:21.30 AM that morning and missing this momentous event. Sort of like setting our alarms to awaken in the early morning to either set our clocks ahead or back depending on Day-Light Savings. No matter. I was reminded by many friends that 2/22/2022, 2:22.22 AM would be much more wonderful to celebrate; and on a TWOSDAY to boot! I failed to set the alarm on 2/21/2022 but nevertheless was awakened by something so as not to miss this moment.
As I returned to bed and waited for the minutes to pass, my mind began to wander. What was Jesus doing on February 22 in the year 22 A.D. at 2:22.22 AM? I'm guessing he might have been sleeping. Biblically speaking, Jesus took ordinary earthly things and developed God centered theology. I can't recall where Jesus highlighted specific 'once in a lifetime moments' and celebrated them over and against everyday moments of living, loving, healing, and speaking the truth in love. Unless it's hidden in the Greek, I'm certain Jesus didn't expound upon the enormity of 2/2/22, 2:22.22 AM.
My convoluted message here (welcome to Randy's brain) is one of making each moment of our lives count for something of value. In the blink of an eye, we can either lift and heal another person or injure and vilify them. The choice is ours to make.
I'm all for celebration of things like 2/22/2022, 2:22.22 AM on Twosday because they are fun and once in a lifetime. Comparatively speaking, each day has 86,400 seconds (with a few extra thrown in for leap year). While micro-managing each of those seconds would be ludicrous, utilizing many of them for the good of God's creation and fellow sisters and brothers does carry a responsibility for us to do so.
I'm reminded of an interesting fellow that Kayt (our daughter) and I met on the course of a Tough Mudder (Bing search it) a few years ago. Jim Campbell was limping along the course using arm braces that served at crutches. We caught up to him and began the conversation of how impressed and inspired we were to see this fellow out competing with what was a terrible circumstance. Jim began to tell his story of a motorcycle accident that left him clinging to life. Suffering from a broken back, pelvis, collarbones and many other injuries, enduring a stroke and left in a horrible state, Jim realized that nobody could save him without participation from himself. He began the long journey of living within each moment and celebrating each new progression of surgeries, therapies, and physical relearning. He made up his mind to leave no day wasted and no moment unused in the life he had left.
The day we talked to him he was (if I recall) competing in Tough Mudder 55ish, maybe more. We walked and talked and came away from our brief time with Jim forever changed and maybe a bit embarrassed of our meager complaints and uncomfortable situations. #nodaywasted became a new way to view life for Kayt and me. Since that encounter, Jim has completed over 100 Tough Mudder events and continues to be the ambassador for many facing life changing injuries to never give up the fight. He is an encourager.
Looking fondly in the rearview mirror of my moments, this morning at 2:22.22 AM an event occurred that I'll never see again. At the same time, as I look through the windshield of my future moments, I believe there will be countless opportunities to engage a broken and complex world in need of the gifts that God has given me. Things like faith, hope, love, encouragement, and a few others are stored in my heart for moments that God has ordained and that I don't want to miss.
How about you? Have you spent considerable time celebrating events and situations rather than engaging people? The text from Deuteronomy was directed toward the nation of God's people and they were commanded to not waste time in unfruitful activities but to engage the goodness and holiness of God and be effective.
PS: Next fun event I'll likely not see will be 3/3/2033, 3:33.33 AM. Set your alarms.
"A Musing Pastor"