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The Miracle of the Moment

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Authored by Steve Hearts (a guest contribution)
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For me, every year has its highlights. I look forward to family get-togethers and traveling, for example, but the arrival of Christmas is at the top of the list of things I anticipate every year. The joy of the season never fails to make my spirit soar.

With every Christmas season that passes, I strive to show my gratitude and thankfulness to the Lord for letting me live through yet another commemoration of His birth—and for the blessing of family and loved ones with whom to share the moment. In the past, I failed to value and appreciate these blessings as I should have, and still regret it to this day.

When I was 14, I moved to Mexico with my family for the first time. I was looking forward to spending Christmas in another country besides the States—having lived there for several years. In November of that year we made a trip to the States, which was supposed to be brief. We were anxious to get back to Mexico in time for the outreach activities we had planned for the Christmas season. But our vehicle developed problems and was in the repair shop for nearly two months, making it impossible for us to return home.

Although we did what witnessing we could during this time, I was deeply disappointed over this holdup—so much so that I failed to enjoy the extended stay with my brother, whose wife had given birth to my first niece a few months earlier. Although my parents were also disappointed about the delay, they fully enjoyed the time spent with their first granddaughter over Christmas. My mom tried to get me to enjoy the time we had there, but I paid her no mind, insisting that we should be in Mexico.

A couple of years later, my parents had to urgently move back to the States for an extended period of time. Against my wishes, I went with them. Again, we stayed with my brother and his family, this time for nearly a year. We enjoyed many memorable moments, including Christmas. During the Christmas season, nearly our entire family came together—something that hadn’t happened in so long. Yet again I failed to fully enjoy it. My heart was back in Mexico with the music ministry I’d had to leave behind. A few years later, my mother passed away.

Just recently, some friends and I were having a cookout. One of them got out their laptop and played a compilation of songs that were popular during the time I’m speaking of. I remembered going grocery shopping with mom and hearing those melodies in the stores or on the car radio as we drove. How I wished I could relive those moments when my mom was with us, even if it would mean leaving Mexico all over again.

Of course, I’m comforted to know that when we reach heaven, such moments can be relived and also enhanced. Yet the lesson of appreciating what I have while I have it still remains.

It’s easy to grow familiar with our blessings. And as the saying goes, “Familiarity breeds contempt.” It’s easy to be weighed down by all the obligations, stress, and frustration of the present, and overlook the beauty and blessings that surround us, which tomorrow does not guarantee. What we hold near and dear today could be gone with the blink of an eye.

There is another saying that is sad yet true, “You don’t love what you’ve got until you lose it.” And as true as this is for many of us, why should we wait to truly appreciate what we’ve got until we lose it?

Psalm 103:15 tells us, “As for man, his days are as grass.”1 In Matthew 6:30, Jesus talks about “the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven.”2 If our earthly lives are truly as frail and temporal as grass, shouldn’t we value and appreciate them as best we can?

As goes the Steven Curtis Chapman song:

Breathe it in, breathe it out and listen to your heartbeat.
There’s a wonder in the here and now, it’s right there in front of you.
And I don’t want you to miss the miracle of the moment.3

If we each saw every moment of this life as the divine miracle that it is, there would be much less familiarity in the world, and much less regret and contempt.

Each year, much time, work, and sweat is invested in gift giving. The truth is, we each have a gift that is far more valuable than we often realize: life itself. His birthday is a wonderful time to thank Him for giving that life to us! And what better gift can we give Him than our gratitude?


Footnotes
1 King James Version
2 King James Version
3 ”Miracle of the Moment,” lead single studio album of This Moment, 2007

Read by Amber Larriva. Music by sindustry(CC). Copyright© 2013 by The Family International


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