Surprise - you may pause but life doesn't

"When you come to a fork in the road, take it." Yogi Berra was full of wisdom in his quirky practical way. We face forks in the road every single day we breathe: the question is what do we do when we face the forks?  Do we haul up short and delude ourselves into the idea that we have managed to stop life's momentum while we decide what to do?  Or do we drop the "I am here" pin, pull out the map, and get going? We make choices even when we think we are pausing to be thoughtful.  The pause is a choice.  And the thing we frequently fail to acknowledge is that while we pause our options change because life continues to move.

With every moment we breathe the landscape of life shifts. If we pause on the sidelines we are making a choice to sit out our opportunities. Because like the movement of waves over sand, our lives are in constant motion and although we maybe standing still, the sand beneath our feet rearranges itself unceasingly. The fork in the road isn't as static as we would like to imagine, it is more like the movement of the ocean constantly reshaping the sand of life under our feet.

St. Maarten 2016
Have you ever stood in the ocean?  Your feet feel pretty firm when you first stand still but within seconds the next wave washes over you sucking the sand from between your toes and splashing salt water on your glasses.  If you stay in the same spot, the next wave will pull more sand out, and the next wave, and the next wave.  Until you find yourself losing your balance and being knocked over by that big wave that finally rises from the ocean.  The only way to remain agile is to re-set your feet with every wave, or intentionally take the fork in the road.

Whichever way it works for you, imagine life's moments as forks in the road or waves in the ocean.  Then think about how you see your life.  Do you view it as a journey of adventure or a horrible cosmic accident?  When I say cosmic accident, I mean an immense accident that leaves fragments of you hanging from the signposts at the fork or bobbing in the sea foam. It is just a matter of perspective and we each have the ability to shape our own perspective. Here are a few of the words I have been using to shape my perspective of life, of the forks in the road, and the waves that sometimes threaten to knock me over.

"In every moment something sacred is at stake..." Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel

I heard Episcopal priest, Ed Bacon, use that quote on Oprah's Supersoul Sunday a while ago and it has sat with me.  The idea is that no matter how ugly the fork in the road, how huge the waves, or how nasty the other person might have been, the moment always has the power to teach us or show us something sacred.  We simply need to be willing to see it and act on it.  

If we watch for the sacred in every moment it will shape how we see our lives and the actions we take.  That doesn't mean it will be pretty or easy.  In fact there is a very good possibility that viewing life that way will make it more challenging, because it will create a sense of urgency and responsibility to be our best selves no matter the moment. When we were wandering around Aruba we came across a statue of Anne Frank bearing the following inscription: 

"How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment to improve the world."

What slivers of wisdom do you carry around in your thoughts to encourage you to live your best life in every moment?  Feel free to share them!