A few weeks ago, I picked my buddy Mark up from Bowie Camp, a nature camp at Bowie Nature Park. He was distraught about what he perceived to be someone picking on him earlier in the day.
My natural reaction is to buy him some ice cream and head to the playground. Something told me that was not what he needed from his Miss Felicia in that moment. Instead, I drove down to the lake and we sat looking out over the water and talked. We discussed big ideas for an 8-year-old like perspective and perception. He listened. He processed. He even agreed.
“Miss Felicia, can we take a little walk around the lake right now?”
Usually I would have looked at him like he was crazy. My first reaction was to shut him down. After all, I had work to do. I was wearing sandals. It was hot. My phone was about to die. But then I got the convicting urge to just stop and enjoy this moment with him.
We began the journey around the lake. He led the way and had anecdotes about each part of the path.
“This is where my shoe got stuck in the mud the other day.”
“I found a salamander right here.”
“My friend saw a fish over there.”
My favorite moments of the walk were the ones where I just stood and watched as he explored and appreciated even the simplest things in life. He loved catching cricket frogs and trying to balance on a log in the water. He looked for snakes and made comments about the clouds.
He fully appreciated every detail of his surroundings. In a culture that revolves around technology, busyness and performance, it was refreshing to watch as an 8-year-old’s perspective about his day shifted.
Even though my phone was dying, I snuck a few pictures of the afternoon as we meandered through trees and stumbled over rocks. When my phone died and I expressed frustration, his eyes met mine and his words made me cringe.
“Come on, Miss Felicia. Is it that big of a deal that you don’t have one more picture from this day? It is just a walk around the lake. You still have me. And look at all the beautiful nature around you. It will make you feel better. I promise.”
You still have me.
We often miss the most incredible moments because we are focused on capturing it. Even worse, we miss opportunities to share memories with our loved ones because we are too focused about sharing the moment with hundreds or thousands of fans and followers. We feel the unnecessary need to show the world what we are doing and who we are with. In the meantime, we totally ignore what (or who) really matters.
Guard yourself against the temptation to try to compete with your social media feeds. You will always lose. We tend to forget that the moments we envy from our friends, fans and followers are their highlight reels.
Have you ever completely missed out on an extraordinary moment because you were too busy capturing it? Or just too busy to experience it at all?
Challenge: Ignore the distractions of this world long enough today to appreciate the simple pleasures of the life God gave you. Enjoy your loved ones, appreciate nature,dare to rest.