Every Moment a Gift

About a week and a half ago I got to see my sister act in her final High School play which was entitled: "Our Town". Though I had never heard of it before I saw it, I hear Thornton Wilder's play is fairly well known.

Now I am a man very much in control of my emotions, and as such I am not one to sob in movies. I am not one disposed to emotional ecstasy over a theatrical performance. I can appreciate a good, well conducted play. I can enjoy quality acting, but I rarely go much further than that.

But this particular play was different. And when it ended I sat unable to look to the right or to the left as my eyes were welling up with tears. I was close, way too close to losing it.

There were some excellent performances in the play (and my sister did a great job), but it was more the message of "Our Town" that resonated with me more deeply than anything else. "Our Town" is in short a play about life. It is about how precious life is. How brief life is. It is about how once life is over, it is done and gone: and there is no going back. As "Our Town" concludes the audience is invited to mourn with one of the main characters over the loss of something so beautiful and so short. A value that was not recognized until it was forever out of reach.

The nature of the play forces us introspective types to look within. It is so easy to get fixated on the cyclical patterns of life. To live for the weekend: that next break in the action or that next vacation. We can unknowingly become these sorts of robots that just grind through the same old patterns, over and over again. Like hamsters running on wheels. 

And unfortunately we all too often miss the beauty of the every day. We miss the relationships. We miss the divine appointments in the hustle and bustle of life. We find a way squander away the precious time we have been given. And before we know it, it will all be gone. We will, each of us, be lowered into some hole in the ground on some unknown plot of land and be ceremonially covered with dirt.

And we will be gone and that will be that.

I want to live life mindful of its brevity. I want to make every day, every moment count. I want to treasure my wife, my family, my friends, and my coworkers. I want to enjoy life in every moment, from those holiday conversations with family to those Monday mornings and crazy work days. More importantly still, I want to spend my greatest energy and my most direct focus on that which is eternal. Laboring and working for a Kingdom which will never fade and that will never pass away. Because today is a gift, and it will not be here for long.


“Show me, Lord, my life’s end
    and the number of my days;
    let me know how fleeting my life is.
 You have made my days a mere handbreadth;
    the span of my years is as nothing before you.
Everyone is but a breath,
    even those who seem secure.

 Surely everyone goes around like a mere phantom;
    in vain they rush about, heaping up wealth
    without knowing whose it will finally be.

Psalm 39:4-6


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