We enjoyed a quick glimpse of winter last Wednesday in North Augusta. Early morning snow flurries gave way to some heavy snow showers later. I found myself giddy with excitement as I ran out of our TrueNorth office hoping to catch some beautiful large flakes in my mouth. I ran around the parking lot like I was snagging fly balls in the outfield on a summer day. Snow turns back the hands of time for me, changing me into a little boy with boundless energy and joy!

Early that same morning I received a phone call from my youngest child Cameron. He is a freshman at Clemson.  I had to check the phone twice believing that something must have been wrong because he doesn’t call often and especially not early in the morning.  I answered the phone, asking what was going on. He responded with excitement, “Hey, Dad! It’s snowing big time here and classes are cancelled.”

I said, “Great, why aren’t you sleeping?”

“Man, Dad, I couldn’t sleep! I even set my alarm to get up early so I could see it snow.”

“Well, what are you doing now?” I said.

“I’m sitting in our café eating breakfast watching the snow come down. It’s so beautiful and it’s heavy.”

“Who are you with?”

“Nobody, I’m by myself. No one would get up or go out and walk in the snow.”

“Bummer,” I said.

It was then that I realized why he called. He didn’t have anyone to share the experience with. It was a moment to be embraced so I stopped what I was doing and we talked. We chatted about the snow, it’s beauty, the fun he was going to have that day and how much snow we all might get that day. It was a special moment I won’t forget.

The essence of life is made of those kinds of moments shared with the people we love. Unfortunately, it’s easy to miss them rather than embrace them. Our lives can become so full and busy, with work to do, errands to run, calls to make, games to attend, social media to keep up with, and television to watch. If we aren’t careful, we will miss these moments without thinking. Yet these are the very moments that bring us the most joy and meaning in our lives. These instant opportunities invite us to experience the God given gift of love at another level with our loved ones. These meaningful and powerful moments often come when we least expect it. It might be an early morning call, a conversation at the breakfast table, or a talk in the car. Sometimes they happen on a lazy night on the sofa or while cleaning up the yard, or possibly during a walk on the Greeneway. These moments are precious because they show up without notice and leave us longing for more. It’s these moments that make up the richest part of our lives. They are the moments that God wants to fill our lives with, if we look for them and embrace them.

James, the half-brother of Jesus, reminded us of the brevity of life, when he asked, “

What is your life? It is a mist that appears for a little while. Then it disappears” (James 4:14). 

The older I get, the more I recognize the reality of this truth. It’s like somebody is pushing the gas pedal down full throttle. Life is short, yet God has lavished His love on us by inviting us to embrace every moment with the enthusiasm of a silly guy catching snowflakes on a snowy day.