By Ashley McIlwain
I was running to grab a black almond milk tea at my favorite tea spot, and on the way something caught my eye. There was an elderly couple with their walkers at the frozen yogurt place next door. At first I simply smiled at their cuteness as I continued on my mission for a pick-me-up. On my way back to my car though, I saw them again, and this time what I saw caused me to pause.
There they were sitting outside at a patio table with their walkers parked beside them, eating their frozen treats. Each shaky scoopful took concentration to ensure the yogurt made it to its intended destination. There was a certain peacefulness that surrounded them as they sat in silence beside one another enjoying this simple moment together. It was as though all of the years together had enabled them to speak volumes without uttering a word. It was a powerful moment that lingered with me.
Beyond the adorable and somewhat emotional sight, I realized there was a lesson to be learned from my unplanned encounter with this aged couple. It’s the simple things that make life worthwhile. It’s not just those big moments that stand out as significant but rather the everyday, small moments that come together to create the big picture.
We often ignore, overlook, and otherwise fail to place importance on these seemingly insignificant things. These miniscule moments are the stiches in the fabric of our life. Granted life is chaotic, and it’s easy to miss out on these hidden gems because of the blur around us. We’re just trying to keep our heads above water, so we don’t have time to “smell the roses.” But in our life’s scramble, we are missing our life.
The smile on our husband’s face when he walks in the door. Holding hands walking side by side. Driving familiar roads together. Singing a duet with the radio. The grin your wife gets when you tell her that you love her. That day of errands you ran together. The twinkle in his eye. That good morning peck. The look on her face when she’s concentrating. Cheering on your favorite team together. The hug he gave you at just the right time. The support she showed when you felt inadequate. A long conversation about anything and everything.
Those minute yet powerful glances at the love and life you’ve been blessed with are all around you. They may not scream loudly in your ear, but they whisper softly to your heart. They are what this lifetime is all about.
It reminds me of verse 15 of Ecclesiastes 8, “So I commend the enjoyment of life, because nothing is better for a man under the sun than to eat and drink and be glad. Then joy will accompany him in his work all the days of the life God has given him under the sun.” In Ecclesiastes 11:8, it says, “However many years a man may life, let him enjoy them all.”
My husband and I do a lot of fun things together. We are constantly on some adventure, and we love the memories we make along the way. And while I love our big hoorahs, most of my favorite and fondest memories come from the day to day. There are things I notice and know about Steve that no one else does. I have an intimate understanding of who this man is, and I cherish that. I relish and savor those glimpses into who my husband is. It’s an honor and privilege that no one else gets.
As odd as it may sound, I could just sit and watch my husband all day long. The way he goes about his day with confidence and ease. The gestures he makes and his unique mannerisms. His kind smile and gentle eyes, and the way he so graciously handles people. That is who Steve is, and that is the man I love … every little thing about him. I don’t want to ignore or miss a moment of his life.
Life is happening all around us all of the time. It’s easy to get caught up in the next chapter and always miss out on this chapter. As humans we tend to get stuck in what was or what could be, and we never actually live in the what is, the here and now. The next thing we know, our life has passed us by. That’s true of our marriage too. We get caught up in stuff that doesn’t matter, and we miss out on what does.
You chose this person to spend your life with, so start living it! Start doing it! Don’t miss out on the simple things because they are what make everything else worthwhile. If we can enjoy, delight in, and appreciate the simple things, then everything else is an added blessing, and that is key to contentment and joy.
But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. –1 Timothy 6:6-7