I was walking through a store yesterday and noticed that everything from summer is on sale and the aisles are now loaded down with Halloween costumes, creepy home decor, brown/beige/yellow squashes, pie scented candles and the like.
I know this happens every year, but it seems to get earlier and earlier doesn’t it? We rush through seasons like a rabbit jumping from one patch of clover to the next. I am not sure if we get the full effect of our current season or event that we are in because, much like that rabbit, while we are “chewing” we are already scouting out what comes next.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I love fall. I am ready for cooler weather, fires on the back patio, less mosquitos, FOOTBALL and all of that, but I think sometimes we miss the moments that we are in because we are already looking for the next one.
Our culture is obsessed with the next big thing. The next big event. A new season.
I want to encourage you to slow down. Don’t hurry through life. Don’t wish today away by only looking for tomorrow.
Your kids are only little once. They only take first steps once. 18 years in comparison to a lifetime is NO TIME! Trust me, I am a recent new member of the “empty nester” club. Oh what I wouldn’t give for one more day when my kids were at home and we were laughing together or singing together or playing a game of Uno together or even just watching ICarly or Lost together.
Today’s opportunities are the ones that mean the most! If you miss them, you miss life.
Jesus gave His disciples (and us) a model prayer to pray. I have been studying and re-studying this prayer for going on a year now. This prayer is smack dab in the middle of a chapter about life and worry and trust and contentment. That is no accident.
The Lord’s Prayer or Model Prayer or whatever you want to call it, is a DAILY PRAYER. In Matthew 6:11 part of the prayer is “give us THIS DAY our daily bread.”
That prayer is a prayer of worship, purpose, provision, forgiveness, protection. All things we need every single day.
I say all this to say I guess what I could have just said and stopped…”Quit missing the moments you are in, because you are so acutely looking for the next thing.”
Now, I am not saying “don’t plan for the future.” Scripture tells us to be wise and prudent but I think James summed up why our prevailing attitude should be focused on today – on the moment.
James 4:14 How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone.
God spoke that verse to me this morning. I was leaving Bible study with some guys this morning about 6am just as the sun was sneaking up into the sky and there was a morning fog on the church building. By the time I arrived back to the church about 7:30am, that fog was GONE.
THAT IS OUR LIFE! Here one moment, gone the next.
The moments that God gives you today are so important. Don’t miss any of them. Or maybe try not to miss many of them!
Why are the moments so important? Without being too long-winded, let me try to frame it for you.
PEOPLE ARE IN YOUR MOMENTS. There are so many times that people are put in our path for us to love, serve, help, notice, encourage (or vice versa) and we miss them because we are so focused on the next thing.
Your wife is in your moments. Your kids are in your moments. Hurting people are in your moments. The “least of these” are in your moments. So often we miss these because we are looking another direction. Maybe at a screen (PUT THE PHONE DOWN!), maybe at a planner, maybe at our next move. Whatever it is, we miss the moment that we can never recover.
Try to be intentional about people.
Remember that story about Jesus and the woman who touched his robe? Jesus was on a healing mission according to Luke 8. He is headed to heal Jairus’ daughter and he suddenly feels power leave Him. He asks “who touched me?” His disciples are indignant. Peter says, “Master, this whole crowd is pressing up against you.” Short story even shorter, Jesus looks at the woman who had reached out in faith, took a moment, healed her, blessed her and sent her on her way.
Now we aren’t Jesus, but the point is Jesus was sensitive to the moment. He was busy. He had important things in front of Him, but he realized that moment was important to that woman.
Don’t miss those moments that are filled with people who need you to stop and focus on them.
GROWTH IS IN THE MOMENTS. I get to help coach a middle school football team. I love it. We have been practicing all summer working on conditioning. It is not mandatory. Some guys have been there all summer and some guys have just now been able to show up. The guys who are new are somewhat behind in their conditioning because they have missed the moments.
One kid, though, is the perfect illustration of this point. When we started back in late June, I honestly didn’t think he was going to make it. I thought he was going to quit. He couldn’t run from here to there. He would start crying and often told me “I think I am going to die. I can’t breathe.” He did not quit. He survived those moments and is now not only keeping up but is one of the strongest competitors on the team.
You see, growth happens in the moments. If football players just go from game to game and never practice, work out or do drills, they will never improve, get stronger, get faster, learn more, learn from previous mistakes…
You have to be in the moment to grow. If we are committed to going through the daily grind then the blessing will come.
Galatians 6:9-10. So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. 10 Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone—especially to those in the family of faith.
SHARING JESUS HAPPENS IN THE MOMENTS. If people are in the moments, then the opportunity to share Christ with people is also in those moments. We just have to be sensitive to when the moments come.
Philip had been preaching in Samaria and then God directed him to go South toward Gaza. On the road he passed by an Ethiopian parked on the side of the road, reading the scroll of Isaiah. Now if Philip had been like me most of the time he would have flown right by this guy, but he realized the magnitude of the moment.
He goes up to the guy and says “do you understand what you are reading?”
Acts 8:34-35 The eunuch asked Philip, “Tell me, was the prophet talking about himself or someone else?” 35 So beginning with this same Scripture, Philip told him the Good News about Jesus.
As believers, we have to be aware of the moments that the Holy Spirit is giving us to share the gospel of Jesus. May we not miss them!
A pastor/mentor of mine would often remind me to “walk slowly through the crowd.” In other words don’t walk by people without noticing them. If you do, then you may miss a moment to share Christ.
So slow down today. Don’t wish life away. Yeah, go ahead and decorate for fall if you want, BUT don’t miss what God has for you TODAY!
LIVE ON PURPOSE IN EACH MOMENT!