I was at the cemetery yesterday afternoon and a thought suddenly struck me. All of these people, now passed on to eternal life, were pilgrims here on earth. Each of them had time on Earth to prove his or her love for God before being called home. How many of us forget, including me, how little time the amount is that we spend in this life. A lifetime, when compared to eternity, is a fleeting moment and how quickly we forget this.
We become so wrapped up in our daily lives, worrying about who has ceased speaking to who, about quizzes and papers, and about what we will be doing after school. Stress is a nasty thing. It begins to grow, like a disease, and consumes us. It seems to be a tool used by Satan to wedge his way between us and our Father. Before we know it, we are no longer focusing on the eternal life.
But, as always, God comes through. While so much on this Earth is fleeting and superfluous to worry about, God sends us Little Moments to remind us.
Yesterday, I arrived back in my dormitory after Mass. I sat down in the hall with my friends, Niki and Laura. We were all so consumed with stress that all we could do was stare at our shoes. Suddenly, Niki spoke out, commenting on how beautiful she just knew Skyline Drive was during this time of year. Laura looked up, guiltily, as did I. All three of us were thinking exactly the same thing. We all darted into our rooms and were changed in five minutes. As we met in the hall, I had a sudden inspiration. “Let’s kidnap Ted and make her go!” The girls laughed.
Since Tuesday, Ted and I had been faithfully going to the cemetery every night to pray for the poor souls, gaining a plenary idulgence each time. So, I called her phone and told her we were going to the cemetery. She fell right into the trap.
I have not had such a lovely afternoon in a long time. The four of us girls sat at Skyline for forty-five minutes, awed by the beauty. It seemed as though God had painted the landscape just for us. We then headed to the Daily Grind for coffee, sitting for half an hour just chatting and catching up. For the remainder of the afternoon, we prayed and meditated at the cemetery. It sounds quite morbid, but actually it was so good for all four of us, who have so many things going on in our lives.
The afternoon was definitely one of those moments. But the evening held a moment, as well.
One of the girls who went with us got a migraine in the late afternoon. By the time we got back to campus and had finished dinner, she was not at all well. So, she came back to my room and I gave her a head rub. She fell asleep in with her head in my lap for two and a half hours. I was so happy. All I could do was just look at her lying there in my lap so peacefully and I was just overcome with how much I loved my dear friend. She looked so very beautiful. It was such a simple moment, and I know He sent it to me. He was trying to remind me that, while most friends come and go, there are always those few who will be there always, even if not physically. This friend of mine is one of the first real friends I’ve ever had. Gratitude and love just washed over me anew every minute.
These Little Moments that are so precious are tiny reminders of the happiness that Heaven shall hold for us. Sometimes, when I am in the middle of these lovely moments, I can’t help but think, “If life is this wonderful right now, I can hardly imagine what Heaven is going to be like.” God wants to remind us where He wants us and He uses, among othere things, little spiritual candies of happiness. We get to suck on them for brief moments and then they are gone. We must relish them while we have them and love those around us while they are there with us.
So, I hope that, while it is inevitable that we become consumed by stress and worry, I never am too far gone that I can’t stop for a moment and appreciate the falling leaves, the history in the graveyard, or the simple beauty of a sleeping friend. Thank God for Little Moments!