Each day is a gift of little pieces of time for us to recognize the Creator.
The day began like most do, harried and rushed. It was a Friday and the frenetic activity in my home between 6:00 and 7:00 am seemed heightened as I readied my hesitant adolescents for another day. I could almost hear the seconds on the clock ticking away like the presence of an incorrigible gnat during a summer picnic at dusk. I could feel my patience wane and the words strung together from my mouth held very little grace. As the screen door screeched shut, signaling the exodus of my feet draggers, I leaned heavily against the wall and sighed with a strange mix of relief and regret. The quiet was healing but it did not silence the nagging desire in my gut for a do over to the morning.
A little over an hour later I arrived at the door to my ofﬁce juggling an armful of papers and books, an oversized purse, and a dripping mug of lukewarm coffee. As I lowered myself into my desk chair and began to run through the agenda for the day in my head, a small sticky note placed strategically on the screen of my computer caught my eye. I felt a familiar catch in my throat as I read the words written on the small piece of paper, “Have a beautiful day mommy I love you so very much, remember it’s Friday! (Matthew 11:28-30) Love – Hannah” and the world stopped. I am a big picture person and the scope of my vision is deep and wide. But given that visionary leaning, I have come to realize that I am most assuredly missing out on moments.
Every day we are given the gift of little pieces of time that serve to pull us out of ourselves. We hear the sweet song of a toddler in a tutu in the middle of the mundane, we catch a gentle loving glimpse between an elderly couple with a lifetime of moments between them, or we have a face to face encounter with grace personiﬁed on a sticky note.
At this point in my journey I am starting to understand that scores of moments have passed me by because I took them for granted, I simply expected millions more. So many of the most profound spiritual moments of my life have happened in the midst of the ordinary. While holding one of my children in the middle of the night, or simply in the presence of the people I love gathered around the table for a shared meal.
I wanted to freeze the sweet moment I discovered that sticky note forever, along with the song of the wind chimes on my porch, the smell of my mother’s perfume and the impish grin and twinkling eyes of my toddler son still visible on his adolescent face. I so desire to practice unconscious gratitude, for a sunny day, blue water and the crimson trees in fall. I long to ﬁnd joy in the dawning of the day and in the inky black of night. And though there are days that I surely lament the hard that seems to seek me out, I cannot deny how much to me has been given.
The Creator reveals Himself in quiet whispers and every day ways, and even the tiniest tender mercy can bring the gift of peace for we are ultimately sustained by the God of all grace. He is the author of every good gift, large and small as we are reminded in James 1:17: “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” Oh that we might simply pay attention.
Major Lori Miller is assistant Women’s Ministries secretary/Community Care Ministries secretary for the Kentucky/Tennessee Division.