Tonight I watched the sunset. I watched the sun dip lower and lower behind a silhouetted mountain crest and then — just like that! — it disappeared.
I can’t remember the last time I did that. And yet, the sun does it every day.
As I sat there savoring the last glimmers of sunlight, I asked myself: What have I been stopping to savor in place of moments like these?
And the answer was clear: I’ve stopped too many times to savor the wrong things.
Like that comment the clerk made to me this afternoon or the way my daughter fought me the entire morning over a math assignment.
Savoring. Relishing. Replaying those moments. Not because they are good, but because they caused me pain and I rather enjoy feeling sorry for myself.
I’m as good as anyone else at whipping out my “list” of injustices. In fact I’m so good at it that if I really let myself get carried away, I could probably get really mad at a moment’s notice — probably over something stupid and meaningless and not very important.
The thing is, why don’t I spend more time savoring the good? Because, like the sunset, good things happen every day too.
It’s a choice, really — a simple refocusing. What do I choose to dwell on? What do I want filling my heart?
Maybe there’s more bad than good in a given day, but that doesn’t mean that the good doesn’t deserve to be enjoyed. In fact, it deserves to be savored because there may be more bad than good.
These tiny treasures aren’t loud and obnoxious, and maybe that’s why I so easily miss them. They speak softly and get crowded out in the mad jumble of a hurried life.
That’s why it’s in the quiet and stillness that I see them appear. I see them when I slow down enough to notice their presence.
They’re the priceless gifts in my day that I take for granted (but may not be around forever):
- The way my husband and I always hold hands in bed before going to sleep;
- How my six-year-old lights up when I ask if she’d like a cup of tea;
- My two-year-old’s furrowed brow when he’s confused about something;
- Knowing that my husband and I won’t eat the last cookie without offering it to the other;
- The always-happy-to-see-me greeting from my two faithful Labradors;
- My nine-year-old’s eager to serve spirit and dedicated work ethic (which remind me of his father); and
- How my daughter is thrilled when she and I dress in the same color.
They’re specific moments too:
- The “mystery” card left on my pillow last month that said “I love you mom. Thank you for giving up your life to teach me.”
- The night my husband gave up his part of a couples’ massage (without me knowing it) so that I could have double the time
- That moment in the car last weekend when I got to remind my son (who had tears of repentance on his cheeks while we looked up Bible verses together) that yes, he was absolutely forgiven.
These are the things I need to fill my mind with, especially on the days when I’m quick to reach for “my list.” And, if I’m careful to focus my eyes and tune my ears, new wonderful gifts can appear each day (just like the magic of sunset).
This doesn’t mean that I should never think about all those hard things in my day, because that would just be unrealistic, and honestly, not very wise. Sometimes we need to think through a tough situation so that we can process it and face it honestly. That’s healthy and normal. I wouldn’t be true to myself if I tried to cover up and ignore difficult things.
But I can monitor my thoughts and temper the challenging seasons with these powerful (and equally true) sentiments about my life.
These tiny treasures are reminders that this too shall pass and that, yes, it really is all worth it.
“Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise… Then the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4:8-9
How about you? In the midst of the trials and chaos, what good things can you stop to savor today?Leave a Comment