We had an incredible opportunity to spend time at a cabin in the Rockies over the weekend. A day trip highlighted by fun with friends and fabulous food. Contemplative conversations. And outstanding outdoor observations. (I’m fueled by too much caffeine. I can’t help the alliteration.)
Just being in the mountains is enough to lift my spirits. The air was clear and cool. Spectacular cloud formations wrangled for my attention. Wild flowers dotted the fields, and the mountains were spectacular. You just didn’t know where to look first.
So we ate.
Food is one of those great gatherers of people. It was also an obvious way to fuel ourselves for the upcoming hike around the area. Not anything difficult, mind you. We were accompanied by a plethora of young children. And quite a few older ones who made the most out of a rather tame hike.
Being in a place that’s not my normal stomping grounds is a wonderful opportunity to really see what’s around me. To observe things I often overlook. To enjoy what’s different. I watched old friends and new mingle and ebb and flow into new conversations clusters. I heard laughter punctuating the conversations that flowed around me. I watched as we wandered in a general direction, toward a higher outcropping of rocks that the kids had already climbed.
And I had one of those aha moments that just grab you.
We had a purpose. We were all together, making new friends and enjoying ones we’d known. We were out enjoying God’s creation, a privilege in the mountains on any day. We were exercising, moving–slowly at times, but definitely moving.
It was what was happening while we were in process. While we were moving through the day. It wasn’t about making it to the top of the rocks, though many did that. It wasn’t about seeing everything that could be seen, discussing every topic that needed to be talked about. It was about focusing on the people we were with, embracing the moment, enjoying what we had.
Too often I find myself muttering the “if only’s”. If only it hadn’t rained today, I would have finished my to-do list. If only I’d been given more time, I’d have done a better job on that project. If only I’d had more notice, I could have made better preparations.
Funny how so many of those “if only’s” subtly move responsibility from me to my circumstances. It’s not my fault?
But I’ve been given today to live, to enjoy, to pursue possibilities that might help, encourage and uplift others. Chances to influence the lives of others for good.
Today is the gift.
“THIS is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be GLAD in it.” Psalm 118:24
Every day we’re given is this day, a gift from God. Every time we open our eyes we have a chance to rejoice in what we have. What we can do.
But I can live with the anticipation that it could be.
All pictures courtesy of Chris Sibben.