Tuesday, March 15

Peking Noodle Proverb

Be very careful, then, how you live--not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. --Ephesisans 5:15-16

I am particularly fond of Chinese food. Although I'm not a superstitious person, I enjoy cracking open that bland, crescent shaped cookie and reading the little strip of paper so carefully tucked therein. Some of the more entertaining or interesting fortunes I use as captions in my photo albums. My most recent fortune I have taped prominently to my computer monitor at work. It reads: "Seize from every moment its uniqueness. Peking Noodle Co. "

The best way to seize something is to meet it head on with open hands. Once you have grasped it, you need to close your hands tightly around it so that it can't get away from you. The idea of "seize the day" can sometimes be taken to mean that one should appreciate each new day. Appreciating each day is certainly valuable and useful, but I don't think it's quite the same as seizing every moment.

So often we fail to seize the day and its opportunities. This is probably largely due to the fact that we carry on busy, complicated, fast-paced lives. We simultaneously clench a to-do list in one fist while attempting to steer the car, talk on a cell phone, and hold a low-carb chicken sandwich with the other. It's little wonder we miss out on life's simple pleasures and valuable lessons--our hands are already so full of other things that we have no way of even touching anything else, let alone having the strength or ability to seize it.

There are a great many things in life that are worth holding, and holding tightly. In order to do that we must first let go of all the other things that compete for our attention. We must unclench our selfish fists and release everything to God by coming before him in prayer. When we approach him with empty, open hands, we are better equipped to seize the blessings that we wants to give us.

Just as important as having open hands to receive God's blessings, is remembering that not everything we are given is something that will make us happy. A lot of people think that carpe-ing the diem means that they should do everything they can to pursue their own happiness. Not all of what God wants to teach us comes with a happy faced balloon attached. By coming before him with our outstretched, open hands, we can get a better grip on what it is that he wants us to learn in that present moment. If we try to hold on to the things that have no purpose other than that they make us happy, then we render ourselves unavailable to new things, including new opportunities and risks.

Since God is eternal, it makes sense to me that he would like us to live in the present. There is nothing we can do to alter the past, and no amount of worrying can change the future. Live for today. In the Words of Michael W. Smith, "Live every moment, leave nothing to chance." Live in the moment, and seize whatever it is God gives you, even if it is only fleeting. Doing so will give you many more opportunities to treasure special unique moments, and you will undoubtedly live a life with fewer regrets.


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