I remember the afternoon as if it was yesterday. It was a still Florida afternoon. There may have been a light breeze, but nothing was moving. We were sitting with friends in the bleachers watching young girls play softball. The atmosphere was magical! Family and friends cheering every great play, no matter who was ahead. As the game unfolded, a friend turned to me and said – “this is as good as life gets”.
As I look back on that afternoon, I realize now what I could not see then. I was experiencing heaven! He was right. It does not get any better than this. We had family, a spirit of oneness, and people in relationship. These are the building blocks of heaven. I had a gift from God flowing over me and I could not see it.
In the years since, I find myself traveling back to that afternoon. I intentionally reflect because I have come to see that there are unique windows of opportunity in each day that unfolds. That afternoon I missed reveling in the wonder and joy that heaven brings. I never want to repeat that loss even though I know I miss them often. The missing element in my life is one of awareness and appreciation for the moment at hand. In each moment, anything can happen.
I am not the first to miss the window that comes with the moment at hand. In one circumstance, God was trying to communicate with someone. Candidly, at first he did not get it. In response, God repeated himself “three times, and then the blanket was pulled back up into the sky.” (Acts 11.10) If only we were so fortunate with the key events in our lives.
Today will unfold, filled with individual moments that we can enjoy, treasure, and live. The challenge rests in the invitation to be fully, completely, intentionally present and aware. Will we engage with God, making a difference to the community around us? It is the window of opportunity open to all. It is the center of being alive.