The Official Guide to Magic Moments

I was so excited about our trip to Walt Disney World that as soon as we’d scheduled it, I ran right out and bought a travel guide to help me plan our trip.  I’d never been to Disney so I wanted to make the most of every second we were there.  When you go to the bookstore, though, you’ll find about five million guidebooks to the Disney parks, official, unofficial and everything in between.  I think it took more time to pick the book than we actually spent at the Magic Kingdom.

But, finally, my diligent search paid off.  I found a guidebook that had this incredible touring schedule that would allow me take advantage of traffic patterns and hit the attractions in just the right order to wait in the shortest lines.  It was a masterpiece of efficiency. 
Unlike the uneducated masses, I now had in my possession valuable insider information that would maximize every precious minute in Orlando. 
I’m not going to lie to you.  It wouldn’t be easy.  I told my wife that we’d have to minimize time-wasters like bathroom breaks and meals.  But if were committed, if we stayed on schedule, we would be pack in about three weeks worth of magical memories into five days. 
Isn’t that what vacations are all about? 

Be Careful What You Wish For

Have you ever found yourself wishing your life away without even realizing it? I did. I remember walking the halls one bitter December night almost five years ago with my newborn daughter, Emma. She was a rotten sleeper, and, consequently, so were Mom and Dad. I remember being so desperate to lay my head down that I prayed, “God, just get me through this season. I’m ready for this part to be over.”

The second it came out of my mouth, a thought popped into my head: “It will be over before you know it.” I realized that if I wasn’t careful, I would wish away the most precious days of my life.

Enjoy this moment, I thought. This isn’t something to endure. This is life.

It’s frightening how quickly a picture on an ultrasound becomes a picture on a driver’s license, how preschool graduations become high school graduations and how my little girls who dress up as princesses today will someday dress up in bridal gowns.

Someday soon.

A few years ago, I saw a movie called “Click” about a guy with a magical remote control that enabled him to fast-forward through the unpleasant scenes of his life. In the end, he discovers that he’s missed all the best parts, as well.

We’re all a little like that, aren’t we? Living for the future. Trying to just get through the day.

A king named David once prayed for God to remind him to number his days so that he could realize the brevity of his life and appreciate the time he had. Not a bad idea.

So, today, instead of hitting the fast-forward button on your life, join me in hitting “pause.” Let’s stop and enjoy the people God has blessed us with. Let’s take a walk. Go out for ice cream. Have a water fight. Just play.

My youngest hasn’t been sleeping well this week, but I’m not complaining. Instead, I’m holding her in my arms when she calls for me, and I’m savoring every minute because I know a day is coming when she won’t call for me in the night. I’ll have plenty of time to sleep, no toys to trip me up in the dark, and a vacant silence that is currently filled by the chatter and giggles of little girls.

On that day, I want no regrets. Only sweet memories and the satisfaction of a life fully lived.