Every Day is Once in a Lifetime
Today. It’s not a long word – only five letters. When spoken, it doesn’t take long to say. It rolls right off the tongue, and is gone. And while you can simply say it again, it can never, ever, be spoken again in exactly the same way, in exactly the same place, at exactly the same time – not for all of the riches on Earth. Most of us forget, pretty much daily, that these same truths that can be said of today, the word, also apply to today, the day.
So, the sun came up this morning, just like it did yesterday, and the day before. Big deal, right? Most of us – certainly non-morning-person-me – rarely see a sunrise. And yet, what a miracle, the sunrise. And this morning’s sunrise, whether viewed from a remote mountain top or a suburban kitchen table, was completely unique in the history and future of our world. That moment when the first glow peeked over the horizon, as the breeze gently blew and the birds sang their song, was a one in infinity moment. And so was the one that just passed as you read that last sentence.
It’s so easy to assume each day will be there. Children grow up so fast, and many of us put off throwing a ball in the yard with our son or embracing the silliness of dancing on the bed with our daughter for even just one memorable moment. We believe the lie we tell ourselves – “There will be plenty of time for that.” And then they’re teenagers who want nothing to do with us.
We leave so much unsaid between parents, siblings, friends, and other loved ones, and then they’re gone. Parents grow old. Friends move away. Life gets busy. A year becomes as one day. Decades are amazingly fleeting.
And so I try to do the impossible, to instill in my kids what my dad told me years ago – that the older you get, the faster time seems to pass by. Eleven years old seems like, well, a lifetime, when you’re eleven years old. But the eleven years between eleven and 22 will be an amazingly brief journey. And the twenty-two years between twenty-two and forty-four? You just will not believe it.
We are all busy. We all have trials. We all have bills to pay. We all let days and even weeks go by without calling that old friend, without telling someone we love that we love them so much. Hug your kids. Kiss your spouse. Pet your dog. Say what’s on your heart. Hold a hand. Pick up a stranger’s tab. Hold open a door. Say, “thank you.” Give thanks. Write that book. Call your mom. Don’t hold grudges. Bury the hatchet. Forgive. Sing out loud. Laugh even louder. Cry when it hurts, and there will be hurt. Love deeply with your whole heart.
We all search for those once in a lifetime moments in life. Today is a gift. That’s why they call it “the present”. Truly, every day is once in a lifetime.