Live in the Moment

Have you ever noticed that almost from the time we are born, we are anxiously waiting and striving to be another age or in another place in our life?

Picture it.  A couple finds out that they are expecting a baby and they spend months nurturing and caring for that baby in its mother’s womb, preparing for his or her arrival, purchasing clothing, diapers, and other necessities, attending child-birth classes, and reading parenting books, excitedly awaiting the day that they will get to hold that precious little child in their arms.

Then, the day comes.  Mom begins having contractions. At first, she’s not completely sure she is in labor. She doesn’t want to be embarrassed by rushing to the hospital, only to find that it was just Braxton Hicks contractions. So she waits.  Finally, the labor pains are strong enough and consistent enough that the couple is sure this is it. They grab her overnight bag and make their way to the hospital.  After several hours of labor, they finally look upon the beautiful face of their newborn baby.  They spend a couple of nights in the hospital and then head home with this new little addition to their family.

The next couple of weeks are spent holding their newborn for hours on end, enjoying this new time in their life.  But before long, that baby (we’ll call him Michael), decides that he is not content with the bliss of being held in his parents’ arms. So, Michael decides that he wants to be a big boy and begins trying to roll over.  He works and works at it until he finally accomplishes this first milestone. Then comes crawling and feeding himself, his first words, his first steps, always longing to be bigger, to be older, to be at another stage in his life. When he becomes a toddler, he wants to be in school like his older cousin. When he starts kindergarten, he wishes that he were big like the second graders. In second grade, Michael longs to be one of the nearly-adult fifth-graders.  But by the time fifth grade rolls around, he watches the middle school children across the way and thinks about how much more fun he will have next year.  But then the trials and tribulations of middle school befall our hero.

He walks through the halls of his middle school, longing for the day that he will be in high school and finally be free. Three long years later, the first day of high school finally rolls around. Michael soon realizes that it really wasn’t all he had imagined. Just like his previous schools, there are bullies as well as friends, enemies, and crushes, compassionate and kind teachers, as well as cruel and unreasonable teachers.

For the next two years, Michael thinks about nothing but getting his driver’s license.  Then, he believes, he will really be free! After all, once you are able to drive, you can go anywhere, do anything, and be your own captain.

The day finally comes. Michael’s sixteenth birthday is here! His dad takes him to get his driver’s license. But then, Michael discovers, he must get a job to pay for his gas and insurance. All too soon, Michael learns that minimum wage just doesn’t stretch very far. 

Michael begins to think about graduation and his 18th birthday when he will finally be an adult.  Then, he believes, his life will really begin!  Of course, along the way, Michael meets a girl (let’s call her Samantha) and they fall desperately in love. Within 2 years of graduation, they are married and struggling to get through college. It is hard to pay the bills and attend classes at the same time, but they manage. For the next 2 years, all they talk about is having a baby someday.

College graduation comes along and Michael and Samantha decide that they are ready to start a family.  A year later, their first child arrives followed by four more over the next 10 years.  Michael and Samantha are happy being parents, but they constantly discuss where they will go and what they will do when the kids are older.

As the kids get older, the challenges of raising teenagers set in. Their kids are good kids, but still teenagers. So, the conversation turns to how much they will be able to do together once the kids are all grown up and out of the house. They will travel the world, garden, maybe take a class together.

How time does fly!  In what seemed like seconds, the kids are all grown up and Michael and Samantha are left with an empty nest. They begin to travel and do all the things that they had planned, but something is missing. Now, their thoughts turn to when the children were small. They remember those times fondly and wish they could go back. They don’t remember the bills that were hard to pay or the busyness that was so difficult to keep up with.  They don’t remember the kids’ fights or the bad grades. They remember the Christmases when the kids would rush to the Christmas tree, full of the wonder and excitement of childhood! They remember the family nights when they watched movies or played games together. They remember the times that one child would spontaneously do something nice for his or her sibling. They remember all the questions the kids used to ask – the same questions that sometimes drove them to the brink of insanity by their sheer volume – but now they remember those questions with a smile. How they long for those days and wish that they could travel back in time and re-live them, knowing now how quickly those days are gone.

But aren’t we all a little like Michael and his dear wife Samantha? I know I am! From the time I was a little girl, I remember how I was always planning and dreaming about some other time in my life. Over the past few years, as I have watched my children grow up all-too-quickly, I have begun to realize how short life really is and how often we miss out on the life that is happening right now because we are hoping for what might be or longing for days gone by. Why not stop today and realize the good that is going on in your life right now? Enjoy your children or your childhood, your grandchildren, or your teen years, your new marriage, or your single life. Appreciate what is now, because one day you will wish you did. Take the advice, “Live well, laugh often, love much!” How much better would life be if we all lived as if today were the best time of our lives?

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2021 Cindy Koen

I am a writer, a mom, a follower of Christ, and an INFJ. I believe in freedom in Christ and that God's love, grace, and faithfulness are more than sufficient for anything we go through. C.S. Lewis said it best when he wrote, "The hardness of God is kinder than the softness of men, and His compulsion is our liberation."

One thought on “Live in the Moment

  1. Well expressed, Cindy. Living in the moment has been a big deal for me lately and this post really spoke to me. Thank you.

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