The Phenomenal Privilege of a Particular Moment

I walked outside last night for the routine task of covering the grill. The trees were bathed in light so ethereal that I forgot where I was for a moment. But then I remembered, and I ran inside for my camera. This was the scene:


The “snow moon” (SNOW?) was just about to reveal itself behind this beautiful cloud.

I suddenly realized that I was about to encounter a viewing, a moment, that no other soul in the entire universe was there for. As tiny as I am in the mind-blowingly enormous scheme of what is, I was the only one given the privilege of witnessing the moon’s spectacular arrival in that exact location of space time.

And here it came:


I was struck dumb by the awareness of all the moments that I have missed because, although I was there,  I wasn’t really THERE. I was distracted, or occupied by 2 of my worst time-sucking habits – rehashing the past and planning the future.

Fortunately, I have found 3 new pastimes that unwind those bad habits and land me square in the present: beach combing, photography, and fishing. Photography is my favorite because it heightens my awareness of details and balance and color and design.

I am trying to take this lesson and apply it with determination to my time with people throughout my day, be it with my kids, or the cashier at HEB. Talk about beautiful displays of God’s design! When I see my cashier and imagine framing her for a photo, I see her in all her precious uniqueness.

I was reminded of this challenging blog post by a dear friend, Len Woods. He contemplates how we interact with strangers and says:

“I’m going to begin to cultivate the simple habit of mentioning people to God—whoever he puts in my path—as I go about my day. Not just my family and friends—I already do that. But all the strangers along the way—and especially in my way.” 

I highly recommend clicking the link above and reading his entire post. I can’t imagine a better way than this to stay present with human beings.

I would love to hear from anyone that made it to the end of this post. When do you feel most connected to the here and now? What beautiful moments have you witnessed that were yours alone in the universe? And what joyful moments might be yours today?

Isaiah 43:18-19 “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past! See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”

Amen and amen.


12 thoughts on “The Phenomenal Privilege of a Particular Moment

  1. Whenever I have read scripture (however short, or long) and then force my mind to listen for God’s prompting, I believe He often centers me on someone who has recently stepped into my path, often without my even “seeing” him/her. Now I need to remember to “force my mind” to pray for that person.

    Thank you Alyson for such an important topic of meditation.

    On Tue, Feb 23, 2016 at 10:29 AM, Midnight Music and Musings wrote:

    > Alyson Hinkie posted: “I walked outside last night for the routine task of > covering the grill. The trees were bathed in light so ethereal that I > forgot where I was for a moment. But then I remembered, and ran inside for > my camera. This was the scene: The “snow moon” (SNOW?) ” >


  2. Beautiful moment, Alyson. I have tried to incorporate praying for those around me for some time; inconsistent, but when I do, it allows me to have that momentary connection with people, with God, and a view of His view of them. It means slowing down; again, I’m inconsistent, but striving to experience more of that since life is in the “dailies” most of the time. Thanks for the challenge and reminder that it matters! >


  3. I love this reminder Alyson. I am frequently overwhelmed by the vast amount of people that I encounter in these big cities throughout the day, and how to begin to leave a mark… but because of that, praying for each seems like a great way to stay grounded in prayer ALL day long (another challenge of mine). A few weeks ago I was asleep on a plane, and when I woke up the entire cabin was basked in this serene pink glow. I had never seen an effect quite like this before so I immediately looked out my window. The sun was beginning to set in front of the plane, just as we were passing over a beautiful snow peaked mountain range. The snow was reflecting the sunset back up at us, so the entire landscape was radiating the most amazing tones of pinks and orange. It was absolutely breathtaking. Other than our ‘little’ plane passing overhead, there was not another human in sight. I felt like I had gotten some sort of exclusive ticket to quietly pass through this private light show that God was putting on. As I looked down at the colors and the never ending ripples in the mountain range, I was brought to tears by how tiny we are next to the immense beauty that God has created around us. All we have to do is open our eyes and appreciate it. I tried to take a picture with my phone, but it obviously didn’t do it justice, so I put it away to continue to enjoy the moment for as long as it would last. I also knew that despite not having a photo, the picture was going to be burned in my head forever to continually draw upon as a reminder of God’s magnificence. Thanks for sharing the lovely scene that you stumbled upon and then took the time to appreciate. I am so glad that photography has become your hobby (and talent!), so that we get to delight in the beautiful moments that you capture and the stories that accompany them.


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