This one night I watched 'The Vow' – an exceptional movie based on a Nicholas Sparks book. This film had the usual ingredients of any good chick-flick: a stubborn female protagonist; a central plot focused on her journey to falling in love with her prince charming; and the familiar after-taste of a desire to stumble upon my own real-life fairy tale.
However, aside from all the girly goodness of this film, one key quote left me thinking: 'Life is about moments of impact and how they change our lives forever? What if one day you could no longer remember any of them?' Coupled with this line was footage of smiles, laughs and some crazy times that this couple had shared. But what was most interesting is that in the scheme of all the decisions and difficulties that these characters went on to face in this film these were in fact the little things; however here they were framed as key life moments.
It appears ironic but maybe just maybe this soppy movie was sounding a key truth…
The little things
Have you ever heard the saying big things come in small packages? I think the same is with life that the most memorable moments often lie in the little things; in these 'moments of impact?' But I wonder, do we ever stop to smell the roses and actually notice these moments? Or are we too busy living life in the fast lane with a focus on ever increasing productivity?
Just think for a moment, when was the last time you stopped to watch the popcorn pop in the microwave; to pay attention to the feeling of sand between your toes; to be filled with wonder at watching a person's eyes move back and forth as they read; to listen to a heart beat or laugh at the irony of a persons laugh being funnier than the actual joke?? When did you last take a moment to look up at the stars or watch the sunrise and be amazed or see someone randomly smile as you walk down the street? When was the last time you were the person who randomly smiled at a stranger?
Martha & Mary
In thinking of putting our busyness aside and stopping I am reminded of the story of Martha and Mary from Luke 10 verses 38-42. Here Jesus enters a town and is invited by Martha to her house. Martha hurries off to make preparations so she may be hospitable to their guests whilst her sister Mary sits at the feet of Jesus to listen to His teaching. Not long into Jesus' visit Martha points out that she is doing all the serving whilst Mary is sitting around and vouches for Jesus to prompt her to get to work.
Now admittedly if I was reading this for the first time I would expect that Jesus would turn to Mary and send her to work. However a seemingly odd thing happens. Instead He turns to Martha and says, "Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her."
To anyone else Mary would have looked terrible sitting around and ignoring her duties as a woman. Yet although her culture said she had to be in the kitchen making preparations so that she may be hospitable for a moment Mary had chosen to spend her time differently: to stop and experience a moment of impact.
Evidently this is a multi-layered text that speaks of many things, however, I just want to draw on the concept of stopping. I think aside from all other theological meanings it shows that there is a time and a place to stop in life and pay attention to something that could otherwise be swallowed in the chaos of life.
Stop and smell the roses
We live in an increasingly fast paced world and there is no doubt that things are getting faster. This increased paced largely comes with the introduction of new technologies that are rapidly expanding our capacities and introducing new aids to our busy lives. But as we gain increased productivity I think we need to be careful that we don't sell ourselves short on really experiencing life in exchange.
I am notorious for living life on the fly; for running into each day and tapping out at the end to catch my breath before running into the next. But I am increasingly challenged to stop and smell the roses, to notice the little things and experience these moments of impact; to realize the beauty, joy and creativity in the little things; to take the time to listen to others; to take time to encourage and be encouraged and to stop and thank God and experience Him in these little things.
After all, the well-known quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson says, Life is a journey, not a destination. So lets take the time to stop and smell the roses, be touched by these moments of impact and enjoy the journey. Who knows, what was once a little moment may become your biggest memory.
Charlotte (Charley) works in youth ministry and is studying a Bachelor of Theology at a bible college in Melbourne. Charley enjoys writing children's stories, playing guitar and dreaming the impossible.
Charley Goiris' previous articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/charley-goiris.html