“So when we meet as strangers, when even friends look like strangers, it is good to remember that we need each other greatly, you and I, more than much of the time we dare to imagine, more than much of the time we dare to admit.” | Frederick Buechner
We always say that “it’s the little things in life that matter most” but we seem to seldom live as if we actually believe it. We become caught up in the big picture, forgetting to dig a little deeper and be amazed by what’s lurking under the surface. There’s adventure in every conversation; you just have to be brave enough to stop and see it.
On Christmas Eve of 2016, my dad and I popped into Red Robin for an on-the-go lunch. While waiting at the counter, we noticed a young couple with their first child ordering behind us. A young woman who had been smoking outside of the mall came in and we smiled at the rather chunky infant who was all decked-out in a Santa onesie. His proud father held him high as he showed him off to the world. The joy in the man’s eyes was beautiful. He glanced at us with a smile and cheerfully said “just got back from taking pictures with Santa”. Mom and Dad also wore matching red sweaters and the Joy was overwhelming. The female smoker asked the baby’s name and age and we both swapped stories about how we had talked at eight months and walked at nine months respectively.
The blonde-haired young woman reached out a finger and six-month-old Davis promptly grabbed it with his chubby hand. Her face lit up and she told the father “aww, I love it when they do that”. For one shining moment, it didn’t matter that we were all complete strangers. It was Christmas Eve and a delightful infant named Davis had brought us all together. The young woman happily gazed at Davis and with a “have a good life, little buddy,” she was gone. My dad and I received our burgers shortly afterwards and we left as well, leaving Davis and his beaming parents.
We all parted ways but it was a moment that I won’t ever forget. Somewhere, years from now, a man named Davis will be forging his own path in this world, never knowing that a complete stranger once wished him a good life. To me, that is incredibly amazing! It seems a small, odd, really insignificant thing but holds a poignant truth. We cross paths with so many of our fellow humans but in moments like that one, the Most High allows us to touch someone else’s life in the most thrilling of ways.
This is what it means to really believe that “it’s the little things in life that matter most”. So often we’re too focused on the ground that we’ve lost sight of the sky. Our heads are buried in our own troubles, responsibilities, and headaches that we forget to look up and treasure the small moments. Moments when the vending machine somehow gives you two packs of M&Ms instead of one, when you’re having an awful day and someone has the decency to give you a smile as they pass by, when you realize that despite the challenges, life really is terrific.
The secret to enjoying the little moments is realizing that we are not the center of our own universe or of any universe, for that matter. More often than not, life isn’t actually about us; it’s about the bigger picture. It’s about others and what we can do for them and for each other. We learn to enter into another’s joys and triumphs and forget about our own troubles and busy schedules and pleasures. We won’t be able to find the little things, let alone enjoy them if we’re so wrapped up in ourselves. So look up and may we never lose our sense of wonder.
And Old Friend, never losing his sense of wonder 🙂