Yesterday, I had the privilege to be with friends at a beautiful cliff home in Laguna Beach overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Over the course of a couple hours, we had many beautiful moments. It was a gorgeous day. We sat in comfortable chairs on my friend’s patio. We laughed, prayed and told stories. We talked about our dreams and vision for a film project we’re working on. Below us, waves crashed and we could see seals basking in the sun on a large rock right in front of us. Looking south, we could see all the way down the coastline to South Laguna and the fortress-like headlands of Dana Point. And if that wasn’t enough…
Towards the end of our time together, a huge splash caught the corner of my friend’s eye.
“Hey! Did you see that? It’s a whale!”
Since it’s a bit late in the season to see whales migrating up and down the California coastline, we all trained our eyes in the direction my friend was now pointing.
First a spout. Then “Whoa!”
The whale breached again, its body launching a thunderous spray of water.
The moment got even better when we say a small spout of water nearby… a baby whale.
As we watched in awe from the cliff, this small pod of whales provided a visual feast for the next twenty minutes.
For the couple hours we were all together, like a string of fine pearls from the sea, it was one beautiful moment after another.
Don’t Miss the Moment
How many times have you heard someone say, “Ahh, I missed the moment.”
Like a ripe piece of fruit ready for the picking, I’m guilty of missing many beautiful moments right in front of me.
Can you relate to any of these?
- Walking into your home with your cell phone surgically grafted to your ear when your spouse or child is ready to greet you with a hug.
- Missing a child’s game for a meeting that could have been rescheduled.
- Chronic lateness that leaves other people waiting, making your arrival less than welcoming.
- Scheduling your life so tight that there is no margin for rest, relaxation, or play.
- Preferring mind-numbing television over making a fire and having a conversation.
- Being a social media-Pinning-Facebook-Insta-Tweeting-Texting zombie in front of family and friends.
So many beautiful moments are right in front of you, but in order to taste and savor those moments, you need to be present to what is right in front of you. When you are present, you open yourself to the beauty of the people before you, the wonder of God’s creation all around you, and the serendipitous moments (breaching whales!) that only happen when you are fully present.
If you’ve missed too many moments (like me), the first step is being aware that you are missing those moments. Then, sometimes at the urging of spouses and kids, bringing yourself back to the present by getting in touch with what you truly value and what is most important to you.
Intentionality Creates Beauty
Nobody is responsible for my happiness, but me. If I want to experience beautiful moments, I need to be present to who and what is before me.
And I need to be intentional to create beautiful moments for myself and those around me.
Here’s one example for how intentionality really works for me: I like to wake up early. Most mornings, that means 5am. I know, some of you are already saying, “Ugh. Not me!” But for moi, that means two whole hours of quiet. Coffee. Reading. Journaling. Sunrise. Scripture. Prayer. An early morning run or trip to the gym.
For the way I’m wired, what’s there not to like about that?! Each one of those activities is soul-filling for me. I don’t get all that done every morning. I mix up the pitches.
But an early start has helped me create a lot of beautiful moments that influence the rest of my day.
And if I create a small bit of beauty in my little corner of the world, well hopefully, that beauty’s going to spill into everyone around me.
You Are Made to Create
What far too many people really miss is the truth that they can create beautiful moments. God has given you a powerful creative ability to create beautiful moments.
When you have friends over for dinner, you’re creating beautiful moments. When you listen and encourage a struggling family member, you’re creating a beautiful moment. When you stop, look into a cashier’s eyes and thank them (i.e. really see them), you’re creating a beautiful moment. When you do something kind for someone else, you’re creating a beautiful moment.
You have choices, options and endless possibilities before you today.
You are made in the image of God and because you are made in God’s image, you can create many beautiful moments just like your Creator.
You reflect His beauty and glory when you create beautiful, glorious moments.
You are made to create.
Engage your imagination by asking yourself two questions, “How can I be present to the beauty all around me?” and “How can I create beautiful moments today?”
Do this, my friend, and you open yourself up to a whole heck-a-lotta wonder, fun, adventure, laughter, happiness and joy.
And maybe a few whale sightings…
You’ve just read What is Your Beautiful Moment?
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Questions: How can you be present to the beauty all around you? How can you create beautiful moments today?
I’d love your comments and questions.