At first glance it was just a pumpkin.
I have to admit to you this was what I first thought it was. My family and I were taking a weekend getaway in Florida and stopped at a little church run "Pumpkin farm". Two of my children were having a blast in the bounce house and one was not.
My youngest son was about a million miles away from the required height that Florida has placed upon its bouncing. He was sad the state of Florida would not let him bounce and he was handed over to me for "Your turn" time. Which means the end of a mother's rope has been reached.
I walked with him around the different pumpkins while holding him to my chest. These are really the awesome times because it is during these times that my 18 month old (Yes I do know how old he is ) son fulfills his life's purpose.
Wait a minute. You mean to tell me that your 18 month old son has a life purpose?
Yes. It is amazing because his life's purpose is so huge in comparison to his little frame.
His life's purpose in my life is to expressly picture Father's relationship to us.
How do I know this? Because this little boy has expressed this and taught this more to me in 18 months than any other living soul I have ever met.
We petted the little farm animals, held rabbits, hummed a song that was on his mind and ran through the Rolodex of words that he knows.
All of us have had experiences like this with someone we love, but very few of us would say that we fully recognize the point in time where an experience that we share transforms into a MOMENT. Right in the middle of a pumpkin patch, my son and I shared a "moment".
Have you ever shared a "Moment" with someone that burned into your very heart and mind and forever changed the way you viewed them and yourself?
It was a "Moment" that stopped your world in its tracks and made you suddenly desire to never leave that instant of time.
What is a "Moment"?
I was going through some manuscripts that I have been working on recently and came across something I had been putting together for a novel I am tinkering with. This novel is one day going to be an adult version of the story, "The Man and The Wall" and it is going to be a story of two men who die at the same time and discover heaven.
Both men lived the "Gift" of life very differently and as they cross over they are finally able to see all of the unanswered questions about the "Whys" of their life answered. What you are about to read is a rough draft of a chapter containing a conversation between one of the men, Thomas, and a citizen of Heaven named Lance. Lance is helping Tom understand the concept of eternity.
(The experience discussed was taken from the very first all alone Daddy/ daughter date I shared with my little girl)
“Let me see if I can help you with this,” Lance suggested as he jumped down from the fence rail he had been perched on. Walking toward me he bent down to pick a long blade of grass that he pointed at me like a teacher’s baton.
“I guess that this would be the best way to describe it to you.” He quipped and he placed his fingers in a thoughtful pose on his chin, crossing his other arm on his chest.
“Time”, he said as he began slowly pacing back and forth. “Most people never fully grasp how powerful of a gift that time was until time is gone.” Stopping in mid stride he turned to look me in the eyes, “Was there ever a moment in time where you fully recognized it to be the gift that it was?”
“It was a brisk January day…”I immediately said. “The sun was high and it was thirty two degrees outside. I remember the temperature, because as I was helping her into my truck I remember thinking to myself that I hoped she wouldn’t be too upset with how cold it was.” I said as I looked over to Lance. I continued, “It was our first date, and I was nervous. I did not know what to do. It had been so long since I dated, and I did not want to do anything to mess this up with her.”
“She must have been very important?” Lance reflected.
“She still is”, I corrected him quickly with my sentence softening into a mutter, “even if she is still on the other side.”
“I remember how awkward it felt after I closed her door for her after helping her into the truck.” I was instantly taken back in my mind to that very moment, and it was as if I were there again. Only this time I was watching myself in that moment of time from a distance.
“What am I going to do now?” I asked myself quietly as I rounded the front of the truck to the driver’s side. She looked through the windshield at me and just smiled. I could see her lips mouthing words that I could not hear outside the cab. “She is talking in there right now, and I had better get busy listening”, I breathed as I opened the door and got in.
“What happened then?” Lance asked, now listening intently to my memory as it unfolded.
“Well, I got into the cab, and as I put the keys into the ignition I looked over at her, and our eyes made contact. I knew at that moment that this was what it was all about.” “Time, this was what time was all about you know?”
Lance broke the thought by asking, “I thought you said you had been married for ten years?”
“I had been, but this date was different. She was going to turn two years old in about four weeks, and this was our first date together, just me and my daughter.” My eyes instantly began to moisten.
“Daddy daughter date huh?” Lance grinned. “I never had an opportunity to have any of those.”
“Well let me tell you Lance, they are the most bitter sweet times that you would ever have had.” I exclaimed. I could see a puzzlement sweep across his face. Clearly he had not been expecting me to make that claim.
“Bittersweet?” he asked, “How so?”
“Because if you are halfway on the ball you realize that this time in life is going to come to an end quicker than it starts and you had better get your head in the game and love her with all that you have.” I said.
Tears were now slipping down my cheeks as my mind spun back to that January morning. We pulled out of my In-laws driveway where I had picked my little girl up, and as we drove out to the store I had looked over and asked her if she would like to listen to some music.She had said “Wess atty!” ,which in two year old speak meant “Yes Daddy”, With her nose scrunched up as tight as she could get it, revealing an irresistible toothy smile.
“You know Lance, the only CD I had in my truck was a Dean Martin album and the song that she wanted to listen to over and over again was “That’s Amore”.She just sat in her car seat bobbing her head from side to side with the can-can music on that song, and I asked her if I could hold her hand. Here we were driving down the road, holding hands listening to Dean Martin, and it happened. I picked up on something that I had missed before.
We form regrets in life when we look back on the time we should have valued while we had it. This moment with my daughter was absolutely sacred, and I was able to recognize it. I had seen time not just as an enjoyable moment with someone I loved, but as His gift. I do not think anyone walked any slower through the dolly aisle at Wal-mart than us. I mean we made every single talking baby doll talk, and we looked at every single toy shopping cart like you would have looked at your first car when you bought it. We went to the flower section of the store to get mommy roses before they skyrocketed in price at Valentines Day, and my little girl got a single rose to carry while I carried moms. The rose crushed tightly in one of her hands, and my hand crushed tightly in the other.
“The picture my daughter and I took that day with each other went on my chess board.” I smiled as he again looked confused.
“Chess board?” he asked. “ I thought you were in a truck on a date with your daughter? Did you play chess too? Where does a chess board fit into this?”
“I had a glass chess board in my office that was specially made for photos to be inserted in the white squares. I put pictures in there that reminded me of the good moves that I made in life.” I said. “That day and that realization were a very good moves, and ones I wanted to be reminded of.”
Lance then stopped walking casually with me and turned to face me. Putting his hands on my shoulders he looked into my eyes and said, “Tom, you understand perfectly what this place is then. This place is that moment you recognized as the most important thing in life. Not a moment of time, but of true value. This moment is eternity, and it will never pass. This moment is the rest of your life. It is a perfect gift, full of perfect things. Things which will never, ever come to an end.” Lance turned away with one arm fully around my shoulders and the other arm making a sweeping gesture before us as we stood side by side.
“Tom, welcome to eternity!”
That is what it is truly about. Recognizing the gift of the moment while it is held in your hand.
Live your moments today. All of them.
Who is standing right in front of you? Look at them deeply before they disappear because they are your moment.
What are you eating today? Don't be in such a hurry to consume your food that you miss the taste and the texture. It won't slow your day out of control to take a moment and just enjoy the food you are eating. It is alright to take the "Moment" and fully engage in whatever it is you are doing, and allow yourself to connect with whomever you are with.
What sounds do you hear?
Listen. Listen intently, love intentionally, engage fully and share your attention patiently.
Live your moments today!
"For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;" ~ 2 Corinthians 4:17
Thank you for sharing a "Moment" with me today!
Climbing with you,