One of the things I love about working with children is how common "magical moments" are. You know those moments when you look up for a second and almost like pages from a book, you take everything in, knowing you are surrounded by joy and are thankful you were able to see the moment for what it is. Those times when you hear your heart sigh out of contentment. For that moment, even if it's just a second, your world is perfect.
We all have different ways in which these magical moments take place. I imagine for parents, it's often in the company of their children as they explore the world and their role in it. For me these precious times happen when I'm least expecting it. I'll be hanging out with my best friend's kid and he reaches over and just puts his hand on me just to make sure I'm still there, and my heart sighs a deep sigh of contentment... When I'm visiting my parents and in the morning I go in to my mother's bathroom with a cup of coffee and sit on the steps of their jacuzzi tub and talk to her as she gets ready for the day... When I'm driving in the jeep on a hot summer night, down this curvy road near my house, surrounded by the beauty and sounds of nature, my heart sighs deeply with contentment.... They are those perfect moments which are gone before you know it, but leave you with a yearning and a longing for more. I had never really thought about it, until I heard a quote from C. S. Lewis from Surprised by Joy.
"...the memory of memory. As I stood beside a flowering currant bush on a summer day there suddenly arose in me without warning, as if from a depth not of years but of centuries, the memory of that earlier morning at the Old House when my brother had brought his toy garden into the nursery. It is difficult to find words strong enough for the sensation which came over me; Milton's 'enormous bliss' of Eden (giving the full, ancient meaning to enormous) comes somewhere near it. It was a sensation, of course, of desire; but of desire for what? Not, certainly, for a biscuit tin filled with moss, nor even (though that came into it) for my own past---and before I knew what I desired, the desire itself was gone, the whole glimpse withdrawn, the world turned commonplace again, or only stirred by a longing for the longing which had just ceased. It had taken only a moment of time; and in a certain sense everything else that had ever happened to me was insignificant in comparison" (emphasis added).
In this Lewis is speaking of memories, and how they draw us to the divine. Those times when what we experience something we can't even put words to explain the euphoria we feel, but for a moment we are surrounded by what we all long for. And just as we reach out to grasp and hold on to it, the bliss is gone, and our world is shaken because we have tasted what we imagine the tangible love of the Divine is like. Over the years, I have tried to keep my heart seeking these moments. However when I was younger, they would depress me. They seemed like a cruel trick being played. It was as if the carrot was placed before me only to tempt me of what never will be. As an adult this misunderstanding turned into a feeling that God was always gonna pull the rug out from under me. Like those fleeting moments of "enormous bliss", all great things would quickly disappear. In the past few year though, I am thankful that God has allowed me to see what these moments really are: a precious gift that serve as a reminder of the true reality. As a follower of Christ I know this is not the end all be all, this is not my home, which is a truth easily forgotten. And even though there are so many amazing things about this life, it is temporal; a fact that, for me at least, I need to be reminded of often. So God in His gracious love, allows our hearts to be so filled to the brim with a joy we can't explain for a moment, to remind us of His great love. So when on a sunny afternoon, I am dancing with the girls after a picnic and I stop and take it all in. Their laughter and happy screams filling my ears, my heart sighs out of contentment, and I am reminded that I am passionately loved by the creator of the universe, this world is not my home, and He has everything in His hands. Those magical moments put everything into perspective...