This Sacred Moment

Used with permission:

Used with permission:

Time is fickle, isn’t it? How can we have so much of it, and yet, it seems to fly past us with unflagging speed? It never stops or reverses. It’s only direction is forwards. It’s the never-ending-always-moving-constantly-changing factor of our lives.

Sometimes we live like all we have is time. But the truth is, we don’t have time. Time has us.

I had a conversation with a friend the other day about the nature of time and decisions and this life. It’s easy to make a choice, even in a split second, and see how that choice mightily influenced the rest of your life. Sometimes the small choices have the biggest outcomes.

As we reminisced about our pasts, we played the “What if” game. You’ve played it, right? It goes something like this–What if you didn’t go here or there? What if you didn’t make that decision? What if you majored in something else during college? What if… blah blah blah.

I feel like I play the “What if” game all the time. It’s a horrible game. I mean, I love dreaming and thinking and wondering, but sometimes this can distract us from the gift of right now. Instead of wasting energy mourning the time gone by, what if we started being more focused on the time we have?

What if we decided to be intentional about the time we were given? I’m talking about truly holding onto what we have. If we did that, we might see our lives and the time were given in a different light.

We’d see the sacredness of it all.

This past week we took our high school students to camp for a week. Since I grew up in the church, summer camp has always been a part of my yearly schedule. There’s a certain pulse, a beat to the camp life:

-It’s a week away from the normal schedule.

-It’s a week of speakers and worship leaders and games and friends.

-It’s a week of unbelievable amounts of high octane energy that leaves you full.

It’s always amazed me how things seem to come into the right perspective at camp. Call it a spiritual high or a mountain top experience. I don’t know which title works better. All I know, is that what happens during that stint is different than the rest of the year.

Perhaps why it’s different is we understand this it not something that happens all the time. It’s just one week or a few days, set aside for this incredible moment of insight and change. Intuitively, it seems, we get how incredible this moment is. We cherish it because we know how fleeting it is.

At camp I was watching and noticing how our students interacted with one another and themselves. They were the same kids they always were, and yet, they were open to what was happening in a different way.

God was moving at camp just like He moves back home. But the words were received in a different way. It was like they understood the importance of what was happening right now.

Students tried things they normally wouldn’t. They climbed rock walls and went kayaking; they signed up for paintball and went on early morning hikes; they participated in rough and rowdy games that left them messy and sore.

The entire week they lived this existence so much bigger than just themselves. I saw that and was overwhelmed by their commitment to making camp a great week. And it made me think–what if we took that same intensity to our lives?

What if we lived each day like it was camp? What if we didn’t worry about where we were or where we were going, but held tightly to the sacredness of the present moment?

Mountain top experiences are needed and the truth is, no one can sustain that for very long. That’s okay. We don’t need to. But what if our perspective didn’t stay on the mountain, but came with us every day?

I’m trying to learn to view it all as sacred. The conversations with friends and family. The meals and drinks and bouts of laughter. The daily routine of rising and working and falling back asleep. It all matters. It’s all important. It’s all sacred.

I have to constantly remind myself to be here and not somewhere else. Because it’s easy, at times, to live your life for the future and miss the beauty of the present. Perhaps that’s why camp means so much–it’s a reminder to be fully present.

And when we’re fully present, we hold onto the sacred moment right in front of us.

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