Life can rush by you too quickly, and in the whirlwind, moments packed with valuable lessons can escape your grasp.
Here are some ways you can grab those moments and listen to their messages:

  • Slow down your pace. Cut activities from your schedule if they don't help you achieve your goals in life or allow you to grow closer to God and other people. Ask the Holy Spirit to transform your restlessness into calmness, then reveal what God wants your priorities to be.
  • As you go through your day, try to notice as many details as you can. Live in the present and avoid multitasking so you can give each moment your full attention.
  • Keep records of moments that have helped shape you. Recall some important moments in your life, and think about how and why they touched you.
  • Consider moments that demanded you choose between faith and fear. How did you respond, and why? Pray for the grace to always choose faith in the future. Celebrate the ways God has helped you in the past, and trust Him to continue to do so.
  • Remember moments when you have shared love with someone else, and ask God to show you everything He wants you to learn from those times. Make a list of ways you can turn to God – the source of love – for the power to live each moment with greater love.
  • Study a child – either your own, or one you see on a regular basis – to see what you can learn from him or her. When you actively observe and listen to a child, you’ll be surprised at how God will enlarge your perspectives in each moment. Also consider how you would like to use your moments to invest in that child, to help him or her grow.
  • Allow yourself to experience grief during moments of loss. Then seek God’s healing. Think about how God has brought good out of times of suffering by using them to transform you as a person.
  • Frequently ask yourself whether you’re truly fulfilling your unique purposes in life. Are you investing your talents for God’s service? If not, when and how will you decide to begin doing so? Make commitments and devise plans to serve God during the defining moments of your life – the ones that call for you to make decisions that will affect your life’s direction.

Adapted from Where Are We Going So Fast?: Finding the Sacred in Everyday Moments, copyright 2001 by Jim Warda. Published by Sheed & Ward, Franklin, Wis., 1-800-266-5564.

Jim Warda writes for the Sunday "family" section of the Chicago Tribune, has contributed to several Chicken Soup for the Soul books, and offers workshops about finding meaning in the moments of life.