Today Only Comes Once

Good morning from Westminster, MD!

As I worked out in my basement one morning last week, something in the periphery caught my eye. It was not out of place, but the bright pink and blue color snapped me out of my exercise routine for a second. Looking to my right, there they were, two small scooters–one blue, and one hot pink. The pink one slightly taller than the blue one, just like their riders, my daughter and son. With two kids below the age of five, toys in my basement are a normal sight. However, for some reason that morning it was as if I had never seen them before.

As I took in the sight of these two wheeled contraptions of plastic and metal, my mind suddenly jumped forward twenty years. Instead of a two and four year old riding the scooters, I pictured two adults standing next to them remembering what it was like to traverse around our unfinished basement. They were still my children, just no longer carefree kids, unencumbered by the realities of this world. I could feel the tears forming behind my eyes. I could not compartmentalize the weight of this picture. I knew my kids would one day grow up, but it was as if I truly came to terms with it for the first time that morning.

I often swing back and forth between the desire for my kids to grow up and the impossible urge to keep them little forever. Watching my children grow and learn, slowly becoming their own person, is an incredible blessing. At the same time, it is a reminder our of own mortality and inability to rewind time. The truth is my son and daughter will only be this age once. When they are screaming, unable to provide for themselves I am thankful for this reality. However, as I think back over the moments of joy each age has brought a sense of longing wells up in my heart. That moment has past–a memory only to be relived in our minds.

It is easy get stuck here–to truly try to keep your kids from growing up, or to keep some other relationship or moment in time from changing. However, this is not only unhealthy, it is an impossibility. As hard as we try, we cannot stop time–but we can slow it down.

As I pondered those scooters and the image in my mind, I remembered the importance of savoring each moment. It is so easy to go through life living for the days to come instead of the day we are in. It is as if we are standing in a time machine, willing the future to come as quickly as possible. The problem is we miss the joys of the moment we are in. A hard as they might be, these moments have something to offer us and it is only available once. By choosing to be present, we can slow down time, taking in everything today has to give us.

This is my hope–I want to experience my kids joy as they ride on their scooters. One day, probably sooner than I realize, they will outgrow them, but I will worry about that day when it comes. Today only comes once, I want to make the most of it. I hope you will choose to do the same.

James Belt

4 thoughts on “Today Only Comes Once

  1. Wow James so good! I try to live in the moment, but, there are times too that I feel I am rushing things a little.
    I will keep those four words in my vocabulary every day “Today only comes once” Love that!
    Thanks, Kim

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