Sometimes, moments are so precious, sweet, perfect, fun, fantastic, impressive, astonishing or awesome we feel like we'd like to stay in them forever. The other day I thought, " If I could have chosen a moment to stay in for the rest of this life, which one would it be?"
Perhaps it would have been the first time my mother held me securely in her arms, in her warm and gentle way, and I looked into her soft brown eyes for the very first time on my birth day, but then I would have missed ......when she let me scrape the bowl of her delicious lemon pie, the taste of strawberries right off the vine at Mr Kamper's , a "poor" old man Momma made pies for because no one else cared enough to make him one and I went with her to deliver them. I would not have experienced the pride I felt in that very first dress she taught me to sew and those fun times of "berry pick'n" and "persimmon gather'n". I would have missed the thrill of going to gospel concerts at the Houston Music Hall and mingling with some of the "greats" in gospel music in the 60s or singing with our gospel girls quartet group in churches, wearing our matching blue dresses, and having our own broadcast on our local radio station!
Perhaps my chosen moment would have been the time Daddy poured out the bucket of crabs we'd caught on a Galveston pier and I so happily watched them crawl back, UNHARMED, among the pier side rocks to their ocean home, but then I would have missed.........hearing all his Huffaker stories, riding around the lake in the cart he built for us kids to harness our old horse
to, seeing him holding all the family babies with that happy grin upon his face and watching him reach his arm up and take Jesus by the hand as he made his transition from this world to his eternal home.
If I could have chosen a moment to stay in, perhaps I would have chosen when my brother, Stephen, and I played in the sand with his Tonka trucks and beautiful butterflies flitted all around us in the bright sunlight, but then I would have missed........... when we collected fireflies in mason jars at dusk and then took the lid off to see them, like stars, flying into the night or watching about twenty little tree frogs hop away joyfully into the darkness, away from the confinement of the jar we'd put them in and from the light that glowed from our big front porch. Or, I could have missed being inspired by his teachers at the Sunshine Center in Galveston where I accompanied him, grasped their slogan "because disability does not mean inablility" and found my dream to become a special education teacher!
What if I'd chosen the moment when I was fourteen and finally came to realize that Jesus had saved me, loved me and would never let Satan pluck me from His hand? Then I would have missed....... going to bible school ( a little bit of heaven on earth for me), being baptized in the precious Holy Ghost or getting to see the wonderful baptism service where all my three children testified of their trust in Jesus as their Savior. I would have missed watching Him provide when the situation looked scary or hopeless, or experiencing how He can work things out when no one else can.
What if I'd stayed in the moment when I realized the phenomenal fact that I'd fallen in love with the handsomest, sweetest guy on earth after thinking that I could never know romantic love because of the broken me inside, but then I would have missed........having such a fun, caring guy to share all those special college events with, being his lovely bride in my beautiful wedding gown or, a few years later, standing with him, realizing the sacred task we had involved ourselves in and making a commitment to raise our children under the guidance of the Lord. I'd have missed that awesome moment of standing with him on the shore of the Atlantic Ocean right in front of Dalvy By the Sea on Prince Edward Island in Canada. I would have missed watching many lovely sunsets with him, enjoying our shared projects, intimate times, anniversary celebrations and sweet valentines.
What if I'd stayed in that moment when I held my first little baby in my arms and saw the miracle of life God had created was so unique and perfect, but then I would have missed.........hearing her say her first word, watching her take her first step and, just a few years later, watching her gently hold her newborn baby sister, the beginning of a love between them that has been so precious, true and strong. I would have missed that precious moment with her sitting beside me during altar call at church when she pulled on my sleeve and said, "I want to ask Jesus into my heart" or when she graduated valedictorian and sang and the spontaneous applause showed the astonishment of so many who had not known she could sing like a bird. I would have missed watching her walk out in her radiant bridal beauty and I would have missed that awesome proud moment of watching her graduate from medical school. I might have never had the experience of gazing up to the Alberquerque skys and seeing about a hundred hot air balloons floating in the sky if not for my brave firstborn who moved out to that "land of enchantment" to make her home!
What if I'd stayed in the moment when I first held our new born baby boy, the namesake of his father, who stood there with his chest almost bursting? Then I would have missed.....seeing that gentle part of him that ran a trapped mouse all the way out to the field and let it go free, collected the mail send outs of missing little children so he could pray for them, seeing his love and talents in music give him and others so much joy and inspiration, or seeing his wild rejoicing with his team in becoming State Champs! I would have missed seeing him marry his china doll little sweetheart, I would have missed when I saw my grandson for the first time in his Mommy's tummy and when I held this sweet newborn miracle in my arms for the first time. I would have missed the joyous experience when I heard my son preach for the very first time or the first time I heard him cohosting a webinar with such knowledge, polish and communication skills!
Perhaps it would have been that joyous moment when I finally held my tiny little newborn caboose who was in distress at birth and had been taken away from me immediately for emergency treatment but then I would have missed.....seeing her at happy play with her brother and sister, seeing her cute little finger wave and happy smile when leaving her in the kindergarten room on her first day of school or hearing the doctor say her heart had been healed and her aorta was completely normal and knowing we had been given an awesome miracle of God. I wouldn't have gotten to watch her be so charming and beautiful at those school and social events, awed at her ability of drawing others to her with people skills some never learn but she seemed to be born with. I would have missed watching her walking up the isle toward me so that I could tie a ribbon to complete her bridal bouquet, holding her father's arm and all aglow because she was about to marry her dream man and I would have missed when she graduated as a Master in Reading to equip herself even more to be the most wonderful teacher of children in the world! I would have missed hearing the judge's proclamation that two brothers were now her sons and my new grandsons!
Yes, there have been a million wonderful times and it is impossible to figure out which one is the most awesome, but sometimes that thought " I want this awesome wonderful moment to last forever!" does cross my mind. But then I would have missed ..... when I soared above the clouds on my first airplane flight and gazed out the window at the ominous beauty all around, missed all those family birthday dinners, thanksgiving and Christmas dinners, family experiences, and a million other fantastic moments........