“If I have a hope, it’s that God sat over the dark nothing and wrote you and me, specifically, into the story, and put us in with the sunset and the rainstorm as though to say, Enjoy your place in my story. The beauty of it means you matter, and you can create within it even as I have created you.”
-Donald Miller

Have you ever had those moments when you realize that you’re alive?

You know what I mean.

Those times when you encounter something that enlivens you. Those times when something jostles you out of your stupor, and you have a moment of ‘Whoa.’ The time where a fiery sunset arrested your attention.  The moment where you saw the massive lightning storm in the desert. That time when you witnessed an incredible sight or sensation. For me, one time was when I first saw the Yosemite Valley. It was one of the most breathtaking things I have ever seen and the beauty of it struck a deep chord within me.  Hopefully you have encountered something enlivening like this (If you haven’t, go to Yosemite!), and hopefully this encounter caused the realization that we are in a place that deserves far more than mere passive TV-watching.

Being placed in a story can provide a sense of peace and happiness.  It involves understanding that life is a precious gift and that the moments of beauty adds something to it.  Life is not just cold and pragmatic.  Life is filled with beauty almost everywhere we look, and for that we can be grateful.

Dennis Prager convinced me of the point that gratitude leads to happiness in life and I believe these moments can help this character trait develop.  Think about it.

Sunlight on the face.

The aroma of a freshly brewed cup of coffee.

The sweet laughter of a child.

These are all part of the beauty of God’s story and the beauty of it means you matter.  Each small, beauty-filled moment ought to make us smile and be filled with the joy of being alive. Of course, not everyday is as glory-filled as others, but many incredible things happen all around us every day.  I just hope that we can savor these periodic points of beauty and make life, our place in God’s story, that much better.

What do you say?