There have been many times that I have heard the quote, ‘Collect moments, not things’. It is such a simple statement, but when I am welcomed into homes with open arms, tears of joy, and warm hugs, the definition of ‘moments’ takes on a greater meaning than I could have imagined. I cannot count the times I have told myself, “Remember this moment. Remember this story. This family, this child, this community, they are special. They are determined to make a difference and they have persevered through trial and affliction that you will never understand. This story will inspire you. Don’t let it fade.”
In these short bits of time, it’s easy to challenge myself and be convicted about things I could improve or people I could love better, but the truth is, when I arrive home, it is just as easy for me to get sucked back into the normality of the world.
A few weeks after returning home, spending $5 each morning on coffee feels ‘not so bad’. Purchasing that $25 shirt that I don’t actually need and will probably only wear once seems like not such a big deal. All the while, something inside of me remembers the people who welcomed me into their homes less than a month earlier. People whose lives could be changed forever for less than what I spend on dinner at a ‘hip’ restaurant.
There are some days when memories of my friends become more clear. Sometimes I secretly look back through photos, scrolling until I see the familiar face of someone who touched my heart. Lately, my mind has been on these people. They have challenged the way I live my life and taught me to love others in a way that I hadn’t understood before our friendships formed.
This year, I am determined to focus on loving others and blessing others with what I have been given, because in my opinion, the Lord blesses us so that we can bless others. Whether that looks like us sharing our jacket with someone who is cold or making a generous donation that will fund an entire water system, we all have something to give.
In 2017, let’s be intentional with others, sharing with them, investing in them, and letting them do the same for us. Let’s get rid of the naïve perception that our possessions are actually ours to begin with and focus on collecting moments, not things.