It’s so very easy to go through life giving only casual glances at people and places that we encounter. It is even easier to give little attention to the people who mean the most to us. Sometimes, we even get it all backwards when it comes down to making moments in our lives really count for something. We fall into the trap of spending time in the urgent things of life and ignore the important. A ringing cell phone sometimes becomes more important than a one-on-one conversation with a loved one.

I was recently reminded of how so very important it is to “live in the moment.” What I mean by living in the moment is fully engaging in the moment. Not just the casual ‘hello’ to someone or the polite, yet superficial, conversation that we are tempted to have with some people. Not living in the moment is equivalent to throwing away a precious gift without unwrapping it.

My mom had a very unexpected heart attack while she came to spend time with me at one of my speaking engagements. She has had excellent health all of her life and we had no reason to think that things could change so quickly from one moment to the next. There we were walking the beautiful sites in Waikiki when she told me she felt ill. Just a few minutes later we were climbing into an ambulance and rushing through heavy traffic on the way to the hospital.

This made me think about the things that I want to make sure she hears from me such as “thank you for guiding me in my faith,” “I am thankful for your example,” “I love you” and so much more. Life has very unexpected turns and we can so easily miss the most important aspects of our life if we do not live in the moment.

Let’s enjoy the gifts we have been given in the form of people who are a part of our lives. Let’s fully engage in the experiences that we are also given as gifts on a daily basis. There is so much to enjoy when we take time to pause and consciously engage with every person and in every situation. Sometimes our time may be truly limited but, I venture to say that, most of the time we can pause and enjoy the moment.

Is that ringing cell phone truly more important than a conversation with our mother, or father, or best friend, or employee, or . . . ? I don’t think so. I am so glad that my mother was treated quickly and that she is back on her feet again. I want every moment with her to count. The people I meet and the places I visit have taken on a whole new significance in my life. I want to “live in the moment” and unwrap those gifts completely.

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