Do we ever recognize the significance of a moment as we live it?
Every moment we live we are trading one thing for another. Today, I traded reading a book for spending time with my girlfriend. Yesterday, I traded personal ambition for responsibility to my employer. The day before I traded time with friends for time with family. And the night before that I traded overpriced coffee in order to be God’s hand of compassion to a friend. Before that, I traded my personal agenda for being a servant and a support in another ministry. But the day before, I traded productiveness for procrastination. Some of these trades were my own idea. Some of them were presented to me. But I have had choices to make. I’ve made very bad decisions this week. I’ve made rather wise decisions as well. Many of these decisions have been life-altering for me or for someone else.
My dad and I came across a license plate frame today reading, “God, family, and… The Dodgers.” I remarked to my dad that you have to keep your priorities straight. I also read today about the need to be able to clarify the win in an organization. It’s that old adage that, “if you aim for nothing you’ll hit it every time.” The point of it is we need to know what we’re shooting for, have our goals and values at the forefront of our minds and in the depths of our hearts. We need to know what it is we stand for, what our lives are about.
Choices come every day. Decisions are demanded of us. We usually do not have time to mull it over. We are given the choice every day, every moment, to trade the bad for the good: the mediocre for the excellent, the half-hearted for the zealous, the shame for the grace, the urgent for the important, the greed for the love. If all we see in front of us is that very moment, we might be tempted to live as if nothing else mattered. But so much matters. There’s so much worth caring about. And every choice we make shows where our values lie. Our decisions divulge our priorities. And every moment spent grooms us in one direction or another. If we choose what is easy today, we set a course for tomorrow. If we choose what is good, right and in line with what we hold true, we train ourselves in valor. We live out our days moment by moment. But, when we lay down to sleep, will we look back and see that we have indeed lived up to the highest hopes for our lives?