Moments of knowing God can't be captured, only savored
Last updated 5/14/2019 at 4:21pm
Some moments in life are golden. And some of the best of all are precious precisely because they must be savored immediately or forever lost.
Oh, as long as God is our Father, and that’s forever, beautifully sweet moments, joy surprises and cloud bursts of delight will come again. But never again the same one, for much of their rich sweetness and deep joy sparkles in the diamond — truth that no two of them are exactly alike.
None can be bottled to be uncorked and re-savored, recorded to be played back at a whim, or captured to be freed for the moments you wish to dance the same dance and want that particular joy to be your once-again, radiant-in-just-the-same-way partner in the waltz.
You never stepped out onto your front porch to gaze up at the starlit night and looked at exactly the same world. Like a river, it flows new every moment. It won’t be truly the same in 10 minutes. Or in the space of your next breath. Look quickly. And look often.
You’re rocking in an old soft chair, but not alone. You and your little grand baby are swaddled together in a warm blanket on a lazy afternoon. Raindrop-straight-down sounds are the lullaby and the babe’s whiffling breath is the sweet meter of the moment’s melody. Oh, swifter than that tiny living miracle’s heartbeat, you’d sign on were it possible to go on gazing sleepily but in utter awe and purest joy at the lovely face of that precious gift of God, and gently rock ... rock ... rock ... on forever. Only the Giver of all good gifts knows what wonderful joy-flowers you and that precious little one will pluck together, but this particular bloom is fully open right now. And not for long. Thank God for it quickly.
You’ve sung or played or strummed or bowed the same beautiful song time and again but never in exactly the same way. A grace-note in measure eight, a joy-trill in the “bridge,” a bit more tremolo in the “intro,” and a new millisecond pause before the “tag” or the “outro” — it’s the sweetly spaced silence that gives the intervening notes richness — and it’s an old beautiful song caressing fresh ears and washing open hearts, brand new.
To savor such moments our souls need spaces for rest and not just the counterfeit “relaxation” of loud and manic diversion. Our souls need the sweet salve, the lovely balm, of what our Father calls Sabbath, whatever its date or duration. We need times — sometimes they’re just a few breaths’ worth — of worthwhile moments, and sometimes, regularly, they need to be hours or days — when we’re quiet and still and our hearts and hands are particularly open to receive the sweet and special gifts — golden moments — our Father wants to give.
“Be still, and know that I am God,” our Father says. It’s wonderfully true eternally. But it’s most clearly known in sweet and fleeting moments of deep joy, the kind that can’t be captured — only savored, the kind that grow best in rich stillness.
Curtis Shelburne writes about faith for The Eastern New Mexico News. Contact him at