Have you ever stopped just to enjoy the moment? Say to look at a beautiful sunset? We’ve all seen them on our way home from work, or to and from some event and think, “How beautiful,” as we continue to our next destination. We hardly ever consider how refreshing it might be to actually stop for a moment and enjoy the view. I’ll never forget the night several years ago when I was coming home along a road that lies above our village. From that location, the sunset was the most spectacular sight I’d ever seen.
I immediately pulled over and parked my car, where I sat in awe. As I watched the sky before me, I lifted a prayer of thanksgiving to Jesus for the privilege of being right there at that very moment. Colors and cloud formations such as I had never seen before. Then it hit me: for the first time, in I don’t know how long, I didn’t let the opportunity pass. It typically wasn’t in my nature to stop for anything; I was always in a hurry, even when I didn’t need to be. As I sat there, an unusual calm came over me and my existence, with all its busyness, collided with the reality of God’s omnipresence. A display of His awesome grandeur lay before me,prompting stillness and reflection. (photo: not of that night)
Slowly, the sky changed, and so did my thoughts, back to the things I needed to do when I got home. There I was, caught in a moment of time between perfect peace and my hectic schedule. This divergence of emotion beckoned me to evaluate the pace at which I lived. Was it necessary? Were there things I could change that would make my life less stressful? If I can’t take time to appreciate the life God has given me, including a brief pause for an amazing sunset, then something’s wrong. How about you? Does your busy routine keep you from the simple pleasures that make life special?
Since that experience, my pace has slowed and I’m more mindful of the things and people around me; yet occasionally, precious moments still pass me by. It takes a conscious effort on my part not to allow the busyness to creep back into areas that should be off limits, such as time for my family and friends, my health, and my art.
Not long after this ‘sunset experience’ my husband, Ron and I had just heard our two youngest teens play their instruments in the school’s spring concert. On the way out to the car, I wasn’t talking about the concert or how well they played; no, I was saying how we needed to get home so I could finish planting the garden. There was still a little daylight left and I wanted to take advantage of it.
It was then that Colleen spoke up and said, “Gee Mom, let’s just enjoy the moment.”
A dagger of conviction pierced my soul as her passion for life and understanding of what matters most beckoned me to join in her peace. Here I was, a promoter of the arts, and I couldn’t even finish soaking in the achievements of these young musicians before other things distracted me.
Think how many days go by, or years for some, where creative actions suffer neglect because of jobs, deadlines, meetings, and other such things. Everything else takes precedence over creative outlets and the lack of use dulls our senses, while endless activities paralyze any artistic desire that remains.
I would like you to take a moment and make a list of everything you do in a day and keep track of it for a week. You’ll be amazed at how much time could be set aside for art by a little rearranging of your schedule. It doesn’t have to be large blocks of time or even every day, for that matter; but it should be consistently enough to make a difference. Once creativity becomes a priority in our lives, it will freely flow in and through our thoughts and show up in our actions. It’s time we cherish the gifts of God and nurture them.