Dan and I both grew up in lands of changing seasons. However we lived in FL for 13.5 years where the only seasons they have is “hot and hotter”. When my oldest daughter was about three we decided we wanted to give her the experience of fall. I tore up a bunch of magazines and newspapers in the living room and we let her attempt to pile them up and play with them. I know the experience didn’t come close it was my futile attempt.
Now that we have moved back to the land of four seasons, my children and dog have been experiencing fall with gusto. We recently had to do some raking of the leaves to have a leaf fight for the first time ever. As much as Dan and I tried to replicate the experience for our children when we tore up the newspapers and magazines it really was no comparison. We all had fun. A few days later my daughters, dog, and I found ourselves in the same leaf pile looking up at the sky calling out what shapes we saw in the clouds.
I realize more and more that life is so beautiful, and it is moments like the above you just can’t duplicate. A camera can never fully capture the moment, but instead of a picture the image will remain deeply embedded in our hearts.
We live in such a society where I think we’ve stopped being livers of life, and started to be observers only. Don’t get me wrong, there isn’t anything wrong with observing people (in a non-creepy sort of way) or trying to duplicate experiences, but we can’t go through the motions of life just to update our Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram. None of these things are bad, in moderation, but what are we truly living for? Is it another like or follower?
I recently watched the film “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” and loved it. I’ll easily add it to one of my top 20 films of all time. There is a great scene where Walter who had been all over the world trying to find this photographer and then the photographer chooses not to take the picture.
Here’s the quote of their exchange.
Walter Mitty: When are you going to take it?
Sean O'Connell: Sometimes I don't. If I like a moment, for me, personally, I don't like to have the distraction of the camera. I just want to stay in it.
Walter Mitty: Stay in it?
Sean O'Connell: Yeah. Right there. Right here.
When Jesus went to the cross and died for us, He did it to give us a life in heaven. However, He also wants us to enjoy life here on earth. He came to give us life and life abundantly (John 10:10). Life is a gift. He wanted us to experience it. This doesn’t mean to go sin. But it means to step out of our comfort zones and back away from our computer desks. It means to breathe in the moment, and truly embrace the ones you love. Sure, we all get caught up in the motions sometimes, but may we all find ways to embrace the truth. This doesn’t mean we all need to go backpacking through the Himalayas, but what I’m saying is simply ‘stop getting caught up in life, and start smelling the roses’. Just like our attempt at duplicating a leaf fight, the duplication just wasn’t the same. My girls needed to experience a leaf fight for themselves.
Remember God has awesome plans for your life. Get excited!