It happened every Friday morning. With steaming thermoses in hand, a few university pals and I would hike up a nearby mound to eat breakfast outside, keep watching the sunrise, and talk about life. One such morning, as we find the city awaking below, I remember posing a question which I’d been asking different people lately 😛 TAGEND
“If you could have a million dollars now, or an extra year of quality life — like, if God were to take the number of years He’s prepared for you and add a bonus one — which option would you choose? How would you expend a million dollars worth a year of life or a year of life merit a million dollars? ”
It was one of those questions with no right answer; it simply lent a little insight into what people[ value ]. So many people I’d talked with earlier used to go for the million, I began second-guessing my own inclination to choose the year.
“If I did choose the year, ” I reasoned aloud to my hiking pals, nonetheless, “I would value hour more for the rest of “peoples lives”. I’d defined better priorities.”
The hikers opted for the year too. So did my mothers, who are so in love that they just wanted more time together. They said a million dollars wouldn’t stimulate them any richer.
Soon after these dialogues, I started wondering: if this year were my extra one, worth a million dollars, how would I live differently?
For starters, I’d pray more.
And I’d fret less.
I’d get up earlier, watch more sunrises, spend more time with people, and make more memories.
So — why not?
The New Year was rocketing towards me, and graduation with it. I had no idea what the year would comprise, but wherever God placed me — even if simply back at my usual summertime chore — I wanted to make sure I’d be living intentionally.
So, I set a goal to write down 1000 recollections in one year.
It sounded easy enough. At an average rate of just three remembrances a period, 1000 memories should be allowed to capture through a little ingenuity, a few tweaks to my daily routine, and a bit more attention to the moments which make up life. Right?
Determined to find out, I started searching for every day’s’ moments.’ Most mornings, I’d set an alarm for six, catch the early bus, take my ukulele to a hill or beach, and spend time outside with God before class.
“To think that I virtually missed this by reaching catnap! ” I remember thinking on more than one such occasion, when a brilliant sunrise transformed the ocean to molten gold.
Later in the afternoons, I’d pack a loading of textbooks and go study on a beach, under a tree, or at a fancy hotel foyer instead of simply working at a desk. Then if I satisfied friends in the evening, I’d often tell them about the 1000 memory objective, to become more openly intentional about investing time together.
And so, day by day, moment by instant, the recollections started accumulating.
Some recollections were really little things: studying in my[ favorite] coffee shop, running into an age-old friend, or feeling great about finishing an assigning. A few were fabulous, flashbulb-blinded memories, like traversing the graduation stage or journeying a limo for the first time[ at] a friend’s wedding. And some memories were downright epic, like when I boarded a one-way flight in autumn to backpack and blog about Christian students’ experiences at secular universities around the world. From the unbearable ticklishness of koala toes in my side, to the glimmering splendour of Tokyo’s lights after dark, to the exhilaration of leaping into a waterfall in the Philippines, the following days brought remembrances I never want to forget.
Three Parts for Great Memories 😛 TAGEND
Whether at home or abroad, however, I learned that many of the best remembrances include at the least one of three simple ingredients. Expending quality time with others, whether human beings or God, is the first ingredient. The second is taking more notice of life’s everyday wonders, like starlight or soap bubbles or the[ coloring] of sunlight on grass. It’s about experiencing our Father’s world the way a kid might, unwrapping the exultation latent in everything from dandelion seeds to bubble wrap. Finally, the third part for creating’ keeper’ memories is to add novel twists to normal life.
For example, my roommate and I mixed these ingredients to cook up dozens of golden recollections at the year’s beginning. We ran stargazing in the front yard , rated sunsets from the local wharf, and pooled our snack hoards for movie nighttimes. One day, we even spent a whole day of “subway hopping, ” journeying a distant city’s entire train line and disembarking at every station to snap a picture.
Then, afterward in the summer, my daddy and I mingle some memory-making parts by allocating ourselves a mission to explore as many new lakes as possible by kayak. We toured small towns wherever we received them along the way, following curvy backroads and discovering country store which Norman Rockwell have been able to painted. Always, we’d be certain to nab some chocolate for the road.
Another summer night, when the weather forecast predicted a meteorite shower, my whole family and whatever guests were present popped popcorn, bundled up, and drove towards the country. We eventually drew over by a grassy ditch, where we stretched out a blanket to enjoy the depict. Between all the clouds and light pollution, this is the only way determined about three starrings — but we were giggling so hard that it really didn’t matter.
My[ favorite] triple-ingredient remembrance of all, nonetheless, has the potential to be the night a few friends and I arrived late at my home after a camp event. Instead of simply crashing in the basement, we agreed it would be way more interesting to sleep on the garage roof. So, armed with blankets, pillows, a ladder, and nachos, we sneaked atop the garage, enjoyed a rooftop nacho party at midnight, and slept soundly until squirrels started pelting pinecones down from their nests at 6:00 a.m.
Three NON-essentials for Great Recollection 😛 TAGEND
Interestingly, these golden recollections had three other things in common too — or rather, they didn’t have three things. First , none of the recollections I just mentioned required much money — only a little creativity. No one, after all, needs to buy a national park pass to camp on a roof. Meteorite showers don’t accusation admission. And even when other great medications birth a sickening price tag, laughter is free.
Second, I’ll gently point out that, except for some traveling highlightings and outdoor textbook reading , none of the remembrances I’ve listed wound up on social media. Social media can be a great tool to digitally scrapbook our memories and inspire others to create their own. But, at the least in my experience, it can also become a trap for unhealthy self-glorification, false image farming, and social comparing. Furthermore, social media attention can too-easily become our focus for making remembrances. In the past, for example, I’ve caught myself living in the middle of a great memory while imagining only about how to best frame it for social media. I’m not at all denouncing posting great memories online — specially because I do it too! But it’s nice to go out and make memories WITH people we like rather than FOR people to “like.”
Third, few of the recollections I’ve mentioned involved’ glamourous’ experiences, like remote travel. While I did rally hundreds of unbelievable remembrances after starting my DIY missions/ blogging trip-up, all the moments I wrote down from daily life ahead were enough to fill my 1000 recollections quota 3 month early. My 1000 th remembrance, in fact, aimed up being one of my usual Sunday morning strolls up a local hill on the day before I left for my global backpacking mission.
Now, at the end of the year, that number has grown to total 1541 memories.
Those are 1541 reasons to be thankful.
1541 reasons to smile.
1541 reasons to praise God for His faithfulness, through the hard instants and the good.
The Meaning of Recollection 😛 TAGEND
The point that recollections are reasons to adore is a very important one because, in all this memory-making business, there lurks a certain danger. That’s the temptation to start living for earthly remembrances, running forth our lives to advance a pail list which will pass away when we do, rather than to advance the everlasting realm of God. To live in pursuit of experiences that induce us happy is to miss the grand, eternal intent for which we were created.
Making feel-good remembrances is not the ultimate goal of life. Glorifying God with all our lives, resources, and beings, walking with God and bringing others along — that’s life’s ultimate goal.
But what if we could exalt God by making recollections? What if we recognized those recollections as reasons to rejoice in His goodness, to be thankful, and to bless His name? What if the moments when we noticed life’s little wonders became minutes of venerate? Imagine the ways we could bless people by putting novel spins on normal life. Reckon of how spending quality hour with others might translate to better loving, serving and appreciating the people around us.
Imagine the value of 365 days filled with those kinds of moments!
Maybe a year like that would be worth a million dollars.
Or maybe, it would be priceless.