One thing is certain: life can change quickly!
Can you remember how things were in the middle of March? Can you remember what was on your mind then? Can you remember what you were worried about?
Then, do you realize how quickly everything changed?
Here we are in late April and it seems as if the entire world is different. So different, in fact, that we are trying to figure out how to make sense of this brand new world.
The song "What a Diff'rence a Day Makes" comes to mind. Originally written in Spanish by Maria Grever, the song was popularized by Dinah Washington in 1959. And the song was so beautiful - and the lyrics were so true - that just about every artist gave the song a try: Bobby Darin, Dean Martin, Little Anthony, Diana Ross, Natalie Cole, Sarah Vaughan, Cher and Tony Bennet (just to name a few).
Our world, of course, didn't change in a day . . . but it didn't take much longer than that.
We are not the first people to have our world turned upside down quickly. In the Old Testament, we read about a man named Job. Described as "the greatest man among all the people of the East" (Job 1:3), Job's world changed in an instant. On a single day, in a series of disasters, Job lost his oxen and donkeys, his sheep and some of his servants, his camels and the remainder of his servants, and his sons and daughters (Job 1:13-19). Soon after this day of disaster, Job's health was destroyed.
Clearly, life can change quickly!
Knowing that, we could, of course, live in fear. In fact, we could be so afraid of losing what we have that we might completely miss the life we have.
Or we could take a very different approach.
This different approach would be much wiser! We could learn to value and appreciate and enjoy the life we have - not because we're afraid that we might lose it, but because it's the life we have been given. If we were to live that way, we would pay attention, we would live in the moment, and we would honor everything that comes our way as a gift.
The Texas poet Mary Connell gives us some good advice. In her poem called "Final Sightings," she says this:
And so it is with every sweet occurrence
that lends any sense or comfort to our lives.
The ultimate gaze and the final phrase
are pretty hard to recognize.
It will happen for the last time
and very likely no one will know
when it happened that it stopped happening.
So kiss me every time you go,
against returning so obscure,
for though I think I know a certain thing
I can't be sure.
Morbid? Not at all!
Just an invitation to receive the gifts that come our way. Just an invitation to live the life we've been given. Just an invitation to live today.
After all, things can change so very quickly!