Has anyone ever said something to you which creates such a sense of awakening that you are compelled to share the profound words of impact with everyone? This is what happened to me…an incredible light bulb moment caused by a few simple words…and I have my mother to thank!
This moment of awareness happened on a family trip to the beach many years ago. My mother had a habit of buying junky little toys for my boys…especially on vacations. After being played with intensely, they would inevitably break short thereafter and then be left lying around in need of being thrown away. On this particular trip to the beach my mother, alias Santa Nana, eager to grant the wishes of her grandchildren, pulled into the parking lot of yet another beach store stocked full of plastic, junky toys. I said, “Why do you always buy them this junk? They will only be forgotten or broken by the time we get home.” Her reply to me has eternally changed the way I view life in general. With laughter in her voice, she said “They’re milliseconds of joy!”
I had no response at all because I was so swept up in the magnitude of the meaning of her powerful words. As I was standing there speechless, the entire aura of this previously junky beach shop took on the most charming glow. Life in its entirety made complete sense to me. I realized then and there that no one ever gave us a guarantee that life would be a continuous picnic of pleasure…but rather, and more importantly, life is a conglomeration of tiny, precious moments. In our fast-paced society, these milliseconds of joy can be so easily missed. If we are wise, we will warehouse these moments for posterity. We can take pleasure in absorbing each detail of these quickly passing moments, savoring every aspect of them as if they were a delicacy from the smorgasbord of life! If we have stored away enough wonderful memories of milliseconds of joy, they can then be drawn upon in our times of desperation, sadness or conflict.
I had a brush with my own mortality ten years ago. During the anxious waiting period for test results that would determine the direction my life would take, I was able to experience wonderfully heightened sensibilities because of the millisecond of joy theory. One day my son jumped in the car when I picked him up at school excitedly telling me about his latest feat on the monkey bars. I found myself even more enraptured with each syllable he said as if it were melodic. The usual outside interferences seemed so inconsequential in comparison to the pleasure of hearing about my child’s acrobatic contorsions. Fortunately, the tests proved that I would be able to listen to even more monkey bar stories! Yahoo!
My conclusion is that life is like a transient bubble bath with its opaque beauty and fragility. The bubbles are like “milliseconds of joy.” They have the strength to stay composed just long enough to bring momentary pleasure…but they can be burst at any moment and lost in their own evaporation. Fortunately, their essence can be revived again as a renewal of the soul.
Could this be a starting point for people to overcome their view of everyday life as mundane and ordinary? We should all begin each day viewing life with a new attitude towards its valuable “milliseconds of joy” as we drink in and enjoy God’s thrilling life with tiny sparks of happiness and the simple pleasures. I can guarantee that if you allow it for yourself to become keenly aware of these mini-highs, you will see that they occur more and more frequently. In return, you will be a happier and more fulfilled person. If we can teach this concept to our children, then we will be fertilizing a generation of innately happy and productive people.
Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year. Ralph Waldo Emerson
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