People often ask me, “So, James, why moments? Why do you talk and write about them? And have you always been so brilliant?”
Ok, so part of the above is made up. Actually most of the above.
I don’t have a lot of people actually asking me why I focus on moments. And even fewer people (read “none”) tell me I’m brilliant, though I swear it was in my wife’s eyes when I left for work this morning.
Anyways, even if they’re not asking, I’m still going to answer that first question, because: a) it’s important, b) it’s very important, and c) I’m a writer, that’s what I do.
And here’s my conclusion: I write about moments because it’s my calling.
One day, many years ago, I heard a voice.
Yep. My inside voice (pun most definitely intended).
The voice said, “Tell them they’re not alone. Tell them not to be afraid. Tell them they’re loved. And tell them that the answer is in moments.”
Now, when I heard that voice, I couldn’t tell if I was really hearing it. I couldn’t tell where it came from. And I couldn’t tell who was speaking.
Was it God? Was it me telling me to tell people something that I actually most needed to hear myself. “Field of Dreams”-ish, if you will. Or was it both?
Wasn’t sure then. Still not.
Afterwards, one night, I hesitantly shared what had happened with my wife, not wanting to sound crazy. I told her I had heard an inner voice, and that I somehow knew that what I had heard was my calling.
She turned to me, one eyebrow raised slightly, and said, “A calling? You don’t even go to church!”
And, you know what, I can understand why she reacted that way. First of all, my church-going ways had tailed off a bit at that time. And secondly, how many people have their spouse suddenly mention that they have a small, inner voice telling them to do something? Kind of like Linguini telling his soon-to-be-girlfriend, Colette, in “Ratatouille” that he has “a tiny chef who tells him what to do.” That look she gives him next? Yep, my wife that night.
Since then, though, she has supported me in everything I did to fulfill my calling. Whether it was writing about moments in columns and books, and speaking about them at schools, churches, hospitals, wherever there was someone who wanted to hear me, and even writing this blog.
All things I did, and do, for one reason.
To tell you what that inner voice wanted you to know.
That the answer to every question you have, or had, or will have, is in your moments.
When you kissed your child gently on top of their head, and whispered “It’ll be OK,” as they got a shot.
When you looked back one last time as you left your parent’s hospital bed for the night. You wished you didn’t have to leave.
When you finally got that promotion, the one you thought you’d never get. The one that reminded you that you’ve got the goods.
When you stayed on the phone with a friend into the early morning, because their girlfriend or boyfriend told them that they needed some space.
When you stood stunned, mouth hung open, eyes beginning to glisten, as the Cubs won the whole thing. You didn’t have to say a word. I knew exactly what you were feeling, and who you were missing.
All your moments. All my moments. Simply variations on a theme.
And, in recognizing this, we recognize how our moments connect us to each other and something greater, and teach us that we’re not alone, don’t need to be afraid, and are most certainly loved.
So why was my inner voice so insistent then? And why doesn’t it allow me to rest now?
Because it knows, God knows, they know, I know, you know, that, if we’re not careful, we can miss them. Our moments. Our lives.
After all, we’ve all gotten way too down to business with our busyness. With more to do than can fit in our calendars or on our “To Do” lists. And with everything coming at us faster, in more ways, filled with scroll bars and hyperlinks, surrounded by THX sound that can easily drown out everything that isn’t illuminated, conflagrated and over-caffeinated.
And if we miss them? If they get lost in the noise and the light.
Well, unfortunately, you don’t get any second chances on sacred.
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or @jameswarda.
Comments Note: All comments are reviewed. Any that are considered to be a personal attack or hate speech will be removed. In my blog, I try to be respectful at all times. I expect the same from my readers, both in responses to me, and about or to each other. And, again, thank you for reading. Without you, I'd just be keeping a diary.
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