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How To Live in the Moment

Written by Chuck Olson

It had been a long day. But a good one. An important one. A memorable one.

The memorial service for my grandmother was simple, sincere, and Christ-honoring—just the way she would have wanted it. From the chapel, family and friends made their way to the Forest Lawn cemetery for a few more words of tribute and farewell.

And then something happened. Something that has marked me to this day.

Family and friends were slowly leaving the graveside and returning to their cars. As I trailed behind them, I stopped and watched my grandfather as he stood over the flower-covered casket. While he thought he was alone, I was close enough to overhear his final words of farewell to the woman with whom he shared 58 years. As tears rolled down his cheeks, I listened to words marked by a depth of love and tenderness unlike anything I have ever heard—words that to this day are irrevocably deposited in the memory bank of my heart.

That day, I was eyewitness to a sacred moment.

Some sacred moments are easy to see. Some much less obvious.

If you look carefully enough, you will see that life is punctuated with sacred moments. A lot more than you think.

If you look carefully enough, you will see that life is punctuated with sacred moments. A lot more than you think.

Some sacred moments you see from a distance, seated in the grandstands. Like a YouTube video of Marine sweeping his wife off her feet on the tarmac after a six-month tour of duty.

Some sacred moments you see up close. Like snapshots of the wedding day of your son or daughter.

And some sacred moments you just don’t see coming. Unscheduled. Unanticipated. But they are there nonetheless.

I wonder how many sacred moments I’ve missed. Inattentive. Busy. Pre-occupied. Focused on, what at the time, seemed so pressing.

I wonder. Don’t you?

Author and pastor, Eugene Peterson, captures it well when he writes, “Every meeting with another person is a privilege…to spy out suppressed glory, ignored blessing, forgotten grace. I had better not miss them.”

So let’s probe a bit. As a leader, what do you do when you find yourself in the middle of a sacred moment? How do you not miss the moment?

The first thing you have to do is to recognize it. See it for what it is. Don’t take it for granted. For whatever reason, you have been invited into a significant moment in the life of another person. You are walking on holy ground.

Throttle back the normal RPMs of life. Fully immerse yourself in the moment. Listen deeply. Listen reflectively. Attend to the emotions of the heart. Give space for the person to reach deep within their soul to pull out the words that will help them give voice to what they are experiencing. They may be words that have never found the light of day—words perhaps long buried under decades of disappointment or layers of hurt.

Often in these sacred moments, a well-timed, thoughtfully worded question can serve to help the person more fully process their thoughts and feelings. “What is happening right now?”, or “What do you believe is going on inside of you that this circumstance has given rise to such weighty emotions?”

Ultimately a leader is entering these sacred moments with a heart to help a person experience God. His presence. His help. His shalom.

I better not miss the moment.

 


Chuck Olson
Founder | Lead With Your Life

Chuck Olson

As founder and president of Lead With Your Life, Dr. Chuck Olson is passionate about inspiring, resourcing and equipping Kingdom leaders to lead from the inside out.  To lead, not with the external shell of positions, achievements or titles, but from an internal commitment to a deep, abiding and transparent relationship with Jesus. Serving as a pastor and leadership coach for over forty years, Chuck has a track record of building these truths deep into the lives of both ministry and marketplace leaders.

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