My wife gave me three books for Valentine’s Day and a little box of chocolates. The books are Vanishing Grace: Whatever Happened to the Good News by Phillip Yancey, Nearing Home: Life, Faith, and Finishing Well by Billy Graham (probably his last book), and Small Victories: Spotting Improbable Moments of Grace by Anne Lamott. The chocolates were from a small store in town that makes its own candy.
The chocolates were most surprising, because I have been on a sugar fast, at her insistence, for the last few weeks. What’s the deal here? Her instructions were to have the chocolate when I’m sitting down to actually enjoy it. Not to grab one because it’s there, or because I need a rush (there’s always a downer later), but to notice it — make it an event.
So I made the whole thing an event — the sitting down with a good book and a piece of chocolate. I had such a good time, I took a picture of my event. (Is this why my children post pictures of their food on social media all the time?)
What all this told me is that we need to make life more of an event. That doesn’t mean we have to do more special things; it means we need to make the things we do more special. To make something an event is to be more conscious of what we are doing, and what we are doing it for.
Life moves too fast. Everything is a run-on sentence. One task flows into the next without distinction. Time passes and you don’t know what you have done. This is not good. Life is more important than that.
On the cover of Billy Graham’s book is a picture of him sitting down with a notebook in his lap. I’ve seen this notebook before. I was on the platform with him once and saw him with the same book. It’s a three-ringed floppy-covered binder filled with letter-sized pages in large print on both sides, each in a plastic sheath so the pages can be grabbed easily and turned. This is his message book. It’s what he uses when he speaks. He’s holding in his lap the words he has brought to millions of people — the same words that have brought countless numbers of them to the Lord. I am one of them. What is he doing there if he’s not noticing … remembering … perhaps even re-assessing what he said? Or maybe this is a picture of him going over his message before giving it. Either way, it’s an event. Deliberate. He’s spending time with words — with what he came to do.
Turn your life into an event today. Notice what you are doing. Do it deliberately. Whether it’s working or playing, it’s all important. Make moments with yourself; make moments with others. Don’t let life happen to you; make life happen. It’s what you are here for. Billy Graham wants to finish well. I’m not into finishing yet, but I am into living well. I think they are the same thing.
The chocolate was delicious.