I rarely take pictures and this is a significant flaw in my character. I have met beautiful and unique people in my life, yet their snapshots only exist in my mind now. But as those mental snapshots have now fallen together over the course of a long life I have seen something extraordinary emerging.
We spend so much of our lives, searching for god and questioning the existence of god. I admit, it all seemed so random to me during my youth. How many of us tearfully said goodbye to our first loves as our lives parted ways? With broken hearts separated by perhaps thousands of miles knowing we would never again see each other. All things change and the world changes, yet we were too young to know this. Today, those loved ones are as close as a click of a button. How many of us have reached out across the span of decades to rekindle those old friendships?
We take our precious things for granted in our youth. I can easily remember lost items from my youth that are considered priceless today. Comic books, baseball cards, movie tickets and action figures. Had I held on to those things and kept them pristine I could have easily retired on the resale value.
Likewise, we also take precious people in our lives for granted. And when we lose them, we are wounded by the loss. The pain becomes reverence and those traits in the ones we remember become our own. They live on in our hearts to define who we will become like a timeless snapshot of those we loved and lost within our own reflection. And those who love us also love those who define us.
The portrait of our lives is so massive that we cannot see its full beauty while standing within it. Only by viewing it from afar can we observe the entire canvas. Only by looking back upon the snapshots of a long and full life can we see god clearly in our lives standing with us every day. Not a Hebrew god, Muslim god or even a Christian god. From this vantage point we can easily see a divine presence that cannot be denied surrounding each and every one of us every moment.
Cherish the things in your life. Time increases their value. Cherish also the loved ones in your life. Those loved ones will define who you grow to be and will live on in you even beyond death. And where ever you happen to be in the world, remember to take a beautiful snapshot.