Jim gave me this plaque at a time when I was transitioning between careers. I had recently left one position but had not yet found a new vocation, so my purpose seemed unclear – and my life seemed quite dull. In fact, I remember one day when I proudly called to tell him that I had cleaned the grout around our bathtub – and promptly burst into tears. He and I can laugh about this now, but at that time, I was quite sad to speak of grout cleaning as the highlight of my day.
The words on the plaque lifted my spirits by reminding me that each moment holds potential. Our very next moment might offer an invitation to an exciting adventure, or inspire a meaningful thought, or become a memorable experience. The idea that life will never be stagnant, that at any moment life could change, gave me much hope.
These days – years later – the plaque speaks to me in another way. I am learning that even with the maturity of age, the insight of the Spirit, the wisdom of experience, and the routine of my retirement days, I will never be an expert at daily living. There will still be moments that surprise, confuse, or upset me (stagnancy does have its benefits)!
Now the plaque serves as my reminder to be gentle with others and myself when we stumble in life. We can never be perfectly prepared or knowledgeable or responsive for every unexpected moment or encounter. We will not be experts in this unfolding, often surprising journey of daily living. Life is a continuous adventure into new frontiers, whether we are traveling far or simply walking into the next moment.
May we learn to receive one another as sacred companions for our journey, look upon one another with merciful tenderness, and graciously help our fellow travelers who stumble along the way.
For each moment is a new place we have never been.
(Photo by Karen)