This morning early as I sat out in my backyard drinking my cup of coffee a hummingbird breezed in to bathe in the spray of the fountain next to me. The sun was just starting to hit the water and the whirring of the hummingbird’s wings, combined with the spray of the water formed these beautiful miniature rainbows. I sat there completely transfixed, afraid that I would disturb this tiny little bird. It was one of those moments that leaves you completely breathless. I was lost in the beauty of the moment. As I watched, I was reminded of the definition of life that I received recently from a friend.
Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.
Throughout the day that early morning scene has played out in my mind and I wondered about the moments that define my life. It seems that lately my life has been defined by the “oh sh*t!” moments. You know the moments I’m talking about. A lost job…a call from a family member telling you of a sudden accident…bills past due, with no way to pay…the doctor’s call with the diagnosis of cancer. All the moments that cause us to catch our breath, almost like we’ve been punched in the stomach. We end up being like the women in Terry McMillan’s book and movie, Waiting to Exhale. We need to exhale, but the all we can do is say “oh sh*t!”
As all of this played out in my head today, I begin to hear the soft-spoken, gentle southern-accented voice of my grandmother from back in the days when I was a kid and would stay at her house. She could always be heard moving around the house singing, usually an old spiritual. Today I heard her singing
Why should I be discouraged?
Why should the shadows fall?
Why should my heart grow lonely and long for heav’n and home?
When Jesus is my fortune.
A constant friend is He.
His eye is on the sparrow.
And I know He watches me!
My mind flashed back to the scene this morning, but this time in my mind’s eye, I noticed the shadow of God. He stood there and watched a little hummingbird bathe and He smiled. Perhaps my life has been too defined by the loud sucking sound of inhaling lately. Perhaps I needed a breathless moment to remind me that if He takes joy in watching over the smallest of creatures as they bathe, then perhaps I should exhale knowing that He’s watching over me as well.
I am beginning to realize that if I’m constantly waiting to exhale, then I don’t have room to be breathless. If I’m so busy running to and fro trying to solve all the world’s problems (and mine too), then I’m probably not taking time to watch a hummingbird. Maybe, just maybe, it’s time to allow the God of all creation to take care of those “oh sh*t” moments!! Maybe it’s time to throw some calgon in the tub, fill it up, climb in and…exhale! I think it’s time to start letting my life be defined by those moments that leave me breathless!!
I Peter 5:7 – Live carefree before God, He is most careful with you!