I had one of those moments tonight—the kind that practically take your breath away. To me, there are two types of "take your breath away" moments: the expected and the unexpected. There are some things that you know will be breathtaking: you fall in love, your best friend gets married, you stand at the top of a high mountain, you watch the 2005 version of Pride and Prejudice for the tenth time (OK, that may just be me, but I cannot get over it!). And then there are the unexpected, random moments where all seems right with the world, like tonight.
I took the subway home and put my iPOD on shuffle in hopes that I would find an artist or song that I had forgotten I had. I got off the subway at my favorite place in Taipei. Even the subway station is beautiful; marble floors and art covering the walls. As I was riding the escalator up to the ground level which opens up at CKS Memorial Park, the perfect song for the moment started playing.
I am into perfect songs for the moment. I take great pride in finding a song that will enhance the setting or mood that I am in. I walked through the park, taking in the rich Asian architecture of the buildings, the palm trees and the surrounding city lights on the outskirts of the park. The temperature was just right, the wind light and cool, and the song was perfect.
I started talking to God, and our conversation was flowing. But something always happens to these moments. The song ends. The park is behind me. I’m almost home. I can scramble through other albums trying to find another equally perfect song for the rest of my walk. I can walk back through the park. I can try to re-create the moment, but the simple truth that we all know is it can’t be done.
It’s never the same. As much as I try, I cannot hold onto those perfect moments. I have had moments with friends that I never want to end. There have been family dinners where we were all in tears laughing, and I didn’t want anyone to leave the table. But we do leave. The moment is over. On a larger scale, loved ones die, friends move far away, relationships fall apart. What happened? Why can’t we hold onto those moments where everything seems right and good? What do we do with this? For one thing, we can remember the moments.
Psalm 116:7 says, “Return to your rest, my soul, for the Lord has been good to you” (TNIV). Remembering His goodness in the past will bring us rest in the present. We can also stop trying to configure and orchestrate our happiness and accept each moment God puts us in as His best for us. And perhaps most importantly, we can walk through each moment with the same quiet confidence and contentment that we feel in the midst of the perfect moment, because God is the same in all of our moments. Isaiah 26:3 says, “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you” (TNIV). The perfect song will play again, but life is not about the perfect song, it’s about trusting God no matter what is playing.