Some of the best moments in life are not those I have been expecting. In fact the more I have come to terms with the detours and even disasters along the path I have been striving to follow, the more I have been (as CS Lewis might have put it) “surprised by joy”.
I think the beauty of those moments is that they are all the more precious because we didn’t work for them! The fact we didn’t have to is a gift that is returned on the trouble we take in other areas of our lives! The author Horace Walpole coined the phrase “Serendipity” in 1754. The Oxford Dictionary tells us that It was suggested by his title of a fairy tale, The Three Princes of Serendip, in which the heroes ‘were always making discoveries, by accidents and sagacity, of things they were not in quest of. The point is, they were on a quest!
This morning I woke to a stunning play of lights on my irregular bedroom ceiling. It immediately reminded me of the cubist painting Sailboats by Lionel Feininger that used to hang tantalisingly in a stairwell at my stuffy grammar school sixth form as we careered down the stairs to escape our confinement at the end of the dusty day.
So beautiful and yet so random and transient! As I silently observed today, the occasional passing car below would flicker reflected reds or blues as its presence broke up the rays. A perfect study in every hue of tinted white! I wondered how many times I had lain here and missed the interplay of light and shadow!
How many times do we miss the commonplace and fail to see its beauty simply because we had nothing to do with its value? And how much depth and colour and richness of life reveals its existence when we happen to notice or a shaft of light falls upon it? That recognition may come from a burst of natural light or even an insight, recognition or recall!
In my reading and reflection,or learnings from coaches and mentors I am hearing a very important theme of being alert and attentive to the moment and having the ability to capture and file away the moments that life speaks to us, garnering the intensity of the things that are there to be enjoyed and appreciated.These build and enrich the character of our voice. Our voice is defined by our attention and our ability to capture and interpret that which we notice!
We notice far more than just things too! My rough old and fading bedroom ceiling is as nondescript as anything could be! So may be each of us. Until that flicker of recognition dances across our awareness. It only takes a glance, a second look, a pause or recognition of some curiosity to see the wonder in ordinariness. When a factor reveals and surprises, it comes to life and thrills us with its glory, just like a sudden rainbow that fleetingly reminds us of the Presence and promises of God we may hold dear!
What gift is being reserved for you to notice? By failing to look, we will fail to find. We don’t always HAVE to know what we are looking for, as long as we are prepared to admit that we need to discover! Only along the path of learning and intentional growth specific plans and goals can we expect these wonderfully arbitrary discoveries although we are never quite sure what or when they will be!
Today, notice, capture and be enthralled by something or someone!