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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

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  • Jerry says:

    Still learning to look for these sacred moments every single day, even at my age. So good Chuck.

  • Sarah says:

    Sitting in a sacred moment today with a loved one. Sweet, tender, sad, and a time where I feel like a thin space has come between earth living and celestial beings.

  • Carlos Sales says:

    Thank you for sharing from your wisdom and experience. I really appreciate this encouragement to be present and to look carefully for those sacred moments. I’ve been thinking and praying about how to encourage those that attend the weddings I officiated to really be present and not be caught up in taking pictures with their cell phones. Really be present and engaged with the couple in their Sacred Moment. This was very helpful. I’ll be officiating my 655th wedding this afternoon.

  • Khristine A. Keith says:

    Sorry for your loss. I liked reading your perspective and insight. Our loved ones really never leave us as they leave us with much in the way of times we’ll spent and cherished moments. Thank you Chuck for these wise words which come at the perfect time! I’m mentioning a dear friend and very much want to be intentional and listen to her heart. Much can be said about God when we take the time to listen and be quiet.
    Blessing to you and Pattie,

  • Randy says:

    So good… those sacred moments. I’ve had many, and they enrich, deepen, and punctuate my faith-walk! Thanks for this reminder, Charles!

  • Bob says:

    Good stuff, Chuck…May we not miss our moments!
    Believing in you, from afar.

  • Brad says:

    Thank you, Chuck. I am passing this read along to some of our colleagues. It aligns well with a conversation I had with a group of teachers. God works in us and through us.

  • lotazu says:

    Thank you for the reminders! …to look for and take in these sacred moments. Prayers to your whole family Pastor Chuck! In Christ, -L

  • Larisse says:

    Thank you Chuck for this good reminder. Even during a normal routine day with kids and work and homelife, I know there are moments when I need to pause and engage at a heart level, but often I am moving too fast to even notice the opportunity.

  • Mike says:

    Thanks for this timely reminder in my life Chuck. Can get to running so fast that I know I am missing these “sacred moments.”

  • Pattie says:

    Sacred Moments. I love those two words. Looking for them ever single day.

  • Robin Welch says:

    Thank you for sharing that.

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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