Another year, another forty-day journey and after these forty days, yet again, life has taught me even more about myself, people and the world. As I came off this journey, I found myself reflecting on what my initial intentions were, what had I learned and the realization that the journey never ends. This year, I wanted to understand more about moments. Holy Moments, that is. So here goes my story on how I got to my moment that was filled with truths and promises.
There are some things that I read or hear that just hit home and Day 8 of my journey began with listening to Matthew Kelly talk about the state of our current world and how it is filled with many blurred lines. He says that for most, it is much easier to live in the gray than it is to admit there is a black and a white. He went on to say, there is not anyone who likes being lied to and yet in today’s culture, many have an increasingly casual relationship with the truth. But here was my moment, there is a connection between truth and happiness and as our relationship with the truth becomes more casual, more slippery, as we continue to cross that line, for whatever reasons and whatever excuses we make for ourselves or justifications, not only are we erasing the line between the truth and lies, but we are also actually erasing the line between happiness and misery. Let that sink in for a bit, along with an honest and real look at the current state of the world. There certainly is a direct connection between truth and lies and happiness and misery but it was the questions he asked that really made me think. What role are we willing to give truth in our lives? Do we want to put truth on a throne in our lives when it is convenient and throw truth in the closet when it is inconvenient? It reminds us of the importance of living in truth, especially when it comes to our happiness.
For me, it took a life changing moment where my personal relationship with the truth became something that eventually would define me. It became something I am consciously aware of and sometimes consumed by it. Some say, at times, I can be brutally honest and other times, mute and maybe there is some truth in both. Sometimes I will call you out on the lie and then there are times I will not give the lie any life and I just walk away, silently. A casual relationship with the truth does not have a place in my life. Maybe it did once but not anymore. For me, when it comes to the truth, there is no gray, it is simply just black and white. To some, it may seem harsh, but I just like keeping it real. I like living life in that space and fake or being untruthful just does not work for me. But here is the thing, it was the thin line between happiness and misery that made me think even more…if you are living a life of misery, does that mean you are living a life of lies? Hmmm…
Then in the middle of my journey, something unexpected happened to someone that not only matters to me but to a lot of other people. There were moments of some chaos, a lot of concern, a little panic and a bit of confusion. There were moments where I felt challenged and I thought I was being called upon to show my strength, courage, leadership and capabilities. There were moments where the people that surrounded me showed the true colors of their character. There were moments where some showed that they cared and were supportive. There were moments where some showed how selfless they were and just rolled up their sleeves and stepped up and stepped in.
Unfortunately, there were many who fell into the category of the selfish and the self-centered. You know, the group we call, “it’s all about me”. There were moments where I felt they were waiting for me to fail. There were moments where they tested my patience. However, it was in those moments of pure silence, where I knew this was not about me, it was about taking care of business for someone else. Each day I would sit quietly with my thoughts and I would ask Him to please give me the strength and guidance towards what was right. I felt he was telling me I had to rise above it all. I had to stay focused. I had to push myself to get through it all. I had to dig in and take control. I just knew I could not fail someone, who never failed me, but I found myself wondering, am I being tested? Would this be considered a Holy Moment?
It was during Holy Week where I found myself reflecting, quite often, about people and still not fully understanding what a true Holy Moment was. And there it was, in just the right moment and in black and white, a story about how Holy Moments have an incredible power. It said the definition of a Holy Moment is where you set aside your self-interest, where you set aside what you feel like doing and you have a conversation with God and you say, “Alright, God, what do you want me to do in this moment?” And then you do exactly what you feel God is calling you to do in that moment. That is a Holy moment. And they tend to be filled with kindness and love and generosity and patience and thoughtfulness and courage. Holy Moments are filled with all of these things and they are so incredibly attractive. It is when you keep doing this over and over again that people realize…” Wow, this is a part of who this person really is.”
When I read those words, I recognized that not only did I have a few Holy Moments over those days and weeks, I also had many over my lifetime but still I felt this moment was not about me. Here is the thing, those words described and reminded me of a few people who have touched my life in many ways. From where I sit, those few, touch everyone’s life with nothing but good and greatness and most certainly, they do it unconditionally. I am forever grateful for their kindness, generosity, patience and more importantly, their presence in my life. I can only hope that from where they sit, they see me and my life in the same light.
Needless to say, I survived those days and weeks and, in the end, when you receive a simple card of thanks that says, “For some people comfort is just a word, for you, it’s a way of life. Thank you for all that you are and all that you do. You make life warmer and more meaningful in so many ways. There will always be a warm spot in my heart for what you did for me and my family in our hour of need.” It is in that moment that you realize this is a moment…a Holy Moment.
Today, this I know for sure, even during life’s most challenging moments, we can all find the strength to rise above the blurred lines, to move past our casual relationship with the truth and strive towards being more kind, loving, caring, generous, patient and courageous towards all of humanity. It is in that place that you will find that Holy Moments happen more often and trust this, when you surround yourself with the people who genuinely care about you and they grace your life with nothing but kindness, love and unconditional support, be grateful for each and every one of them. They are a gift of promise to bring good to your life and it is when you just silently stand still, grace with find you. Promise.