We live in a world of instant everything. I got my first digital camera before my son was born 14 years ago, I have no idea just how many pictures I have taken of him over the years. Now, we hardly ever use a real “camera” because the camera quality on our phones is amazing. We take pictures to “document” everything. First day of school, birthdays, dinner out with friends, food…..you get the picture (pun intended). We are all so busy trying to “capture” the perfect moments in a picture that…….well……we are not truly living in the moment and enjoying the moment for all it’s worth……..and I believe we are doing ourselves a huge injustice.
Yesterday I was emailing back and forth with a friend whose husband has been going through his own health crisis for the last several years. With everything she has going on in her own corner of the world……she has consistently checked in on me via email, Facebook, cards or gifts sent in the mail. She is an encourager……and she truly uses her “gift” of encouraging others. I’m so blessed to have her as a friend and so very thankful to have her in my life.
Anyway – in our email conversations, I mentioned how having a “diagnosis” changes you. Instantly. Here’s an excerpt from the email I sent her……
As you guys know – a cancer diagnosis changes you instantly. It changes your outlook, perspective, how you view simple things in every day life. It makes you appreciate more, and let things that used to upset you roll off your back. A night at home with your family on the couch watching mindless TV is a beautiful thing. You just enjoy being in the moment.
I often think of a song by John Mayer called 3×5. We’re such a generation of capturing everything on camera – but I’m finding myself enjoying the “moment” now – just capturing it on my brain and in my heart – and not capturing it in print on a photograph.
and here’s how she responded……
These days I find myself capturing special moments and will remember them forever. Funny you mention sitting on the couch at night watching TV; that is exactly what we do. So many tasks have been neglected, but I would not take anything for spending time with him each evening doing nothing, but enjoying being together.
For those of you who may not be familiar with the John Mayer song, 3×5, here’s a link to a youtube video with the lyrics.
I encourage you to take a few minutes and listen to the song and truly think about the words. This song has been placed on my heart for awhile now – and some of the lyrics that speak to me the most are these:
Didn’t have a camera by my side this time
Hoping I would see the world with both my eyes
You should have seen that sunrise with your own eyes
It brought me back to life
Today I finally overcame
Trying to fit the world inside a picture frame
Most of us are all guilty of rushing through life – and maybe trying to capture our moments and experiences in a photo or video – but how often do we really stop and just try to soak up the moment…….to live IN that moment and just totally take it all in…..the sights, the sounds, the smells, the emotions. I can tell you this – hearing the word “cancer” has made me much more aware of these things. And yes – I still take pictures from time to time – but I’m much more inclined to stop and soak up the sights and sounds from my back porch on a summer night………..or sit in the swing on a stormy day and enjoy the feel of the wind on my bald head…….or watch the expression in my son’s eyes when he figures out a difficult task……or feel thankful for the “crowded” bed when all 3 of us pile in to watch NCIS reruns…….or enjoy the sound of laughter from two teenage boys in the backseat of the car.
When we try to “fit the world inside a picture frame” – we truly lose out on so much.
Am I a little sad that my college roommate drove 3 hours to see me yesterday and we got so carried away catching up that I forgot to take a picture of us? Well……yeah. But….. for the time that she was here – we were able to immerse ourselves in each other…….yakking it up on the couch…….just like when were 18 back at UNCG. It was as if we picked up right where we left off. I have the memory of yesterday tucked away in a very special place in my heart and imprinted on my brain! No 3×5 needed.
Today was an awesome day – Hunter and I were able to go out and do something “fun” for a change. We went to Raleigh to an “Escape Room”. If you have never tried them, they are really cool and a lot of fun (and super frustrating all at the same time). Hunter’s friend and his mom went with us and the four us had a lot of laughs trying to figure out the clues to solve the mystery and “Escape” the room before the one hour time limit. The Escape Room did not allow cell phones – so there were no pictures taken. But I spent an hour just enjoying the experience. We struggled……we got frustrated……we kept at it…..and we made some great memories……and YES – we did escape with literally seconds left! We were all intrigued and anxious to try another one soon!
So my advice to you is this:
Stop trying to fit the world inside a picture frame……and take time to see the world with your OWN eyes. Live “in” the moment! I’m pretty sure you will be pleasantly surprised.
I challenge each of you to make an effort to truly “live” in the moment over the next few days. When you feel compelled to reach for your phone to take a picture……..stop and rethink it……..and just enjoy the moment in real time.
Ephesians 5:15-16 New International Version (NIV)
15 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.