Like many others this past weekend, we celebrated Mother’s Day on Sunday. As I talked about in my last column, it was an extra special one as it was my wife Carmen’s first official Mother’s Day.
We also had another day that we acknowledged over the weekend which was our baby boy Jaxson’s 10-month birthday on Saturday.
So far we have marked all of his monthly birthdays by taking lots of pictures of him. We take lots of pictures of him anyway, but we especially take a bunch on those monthly birthdays.
We have one of those milestone blankets we lay him on to show his growth through his first year. We also have a letter board that Carmen will use to come up with witty phrases for whatever monthly birthday we’re celebrating.
This one to me, though, felt a little bit different than his other monthly birthdays because it was his first one in double digits. It really hit me just how quickly the time has gone by since he was born and it also made me realize just how quickly his actual birthday is coming up.
Just the other day, I was talking with my coworker Emily who also has a baby right now. I was telling her that Jaxson’s first couple of months seemed to last forever. Not that I was complaining in the slightest, but the feedings around the clock definitely made the days seem longer.
However, since then it has felt like time has flown by. His first Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas all feel like they were just last week. It has gone by so quickly that you wish you could do something to slow the clock down a little bit.
What it has made me realize, though, is just how much difficulty I have simply living in the moment.
I am certainly not one to wish my life away and I certainly don’t want Jaxson to grow up super fast. But if you’re like me, you’re constantly thinking in the back of your mind about what the next thing is.
Like if it’s a Monday driving to the office, I’m already thinking about what I have planned for the upcoming weekend. If I have some type of appointment coming up, that’ll constantly be in the back of my mind as well. Also, if I have an errand that needs to be taken care of, that will be stuck in my head until I go take care of it. Basically, any time I have any type of agenda or schedule, no matter how busy or how laid back, my mind will drift to whatever is next.
With Jaxson in particular, as he has celebrated his monthly milestones, I’ll immediately start thinking about the next milestone. On top of all of that, his first big birthday is coming up in less than a couple of months and thus we’ve been planning for that already.
Just to reiterate, I am certainly not wishing my life away. It’s not the case where I’m counting down the days to whatever lies ahead. And if I could slow the clock down, I almost certainly would.
It’s just that I can’t help myself from thinking ahead to what’s next and often failing to truly just live in the moment.
I think we’re all a little bit guilty of trying to plan ahead, noting goals for today, tomorrow, next month and even next year. However, God has proclaimed our lives moment by moment and thus it is our calling to try to live like that.
If you consider that our entire lifetimes are all but a moment to God, it should become apparent to make each moment count. We can become so consumed with earthly things and earthly activities that it becomes impossible to focus on where the Lord has put you this very instant. But it is the Lord above everyone else who knows how many days we have and plans for us that are good.
Psalm 25: 4-5 says, “Shew me thy ways, O Lord; teach me thy paths. Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day.”
If we would just stop and listen once in a while, you might hear God whisper to you something like, “Stop chasing and striving for every little thing. Be here. Be here right now. From moment to moment, I will lead you.”
It’s human nature to try to put our hope in ourselves or in our futures. We keep our eyes fixed on what we think we can control. But when we do that, we miss out on our precious lives and the present moment that God has granted us.
The Lord has a daily mission for us and it’s easy to miss out on it when we don’t focus on him and his plans. But when we turn from our distractions God will always show us the moments he has handcrafted for us.