I was racing against time and I knew it. On a last minute trip to Southern Utah I found myself on the road from the small town of Kanab to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. I had never been there before and I didn’t know when I would have the time to make the trip again.
It was late October. I got on the road at about 4:30 that morning to make the 140 mile trip to get to the North Rim in time to experience the sunrise. Little did know that this was going to be a pivotal experience in my life helping me to recognize the importance of choosing to live in the present moment.
As I headed South on the winding dark road, a storm was slowly brewing. I never realized the elevation of this formidable country. Snow slowly started to fall and the wind picked up. As some point in my journey I passed an electric road sign with flashing letter’s indicating that this was the last day the North Rim would be open until the following spring.
I didn’t see another person, not even a park ranger the whole way, and with the snow slowly falling, I thought about turning around more than once. With trepidation I decided to push on knowing that I would not have this chance again for quite a while.
I pulled into the parking lot just as the sun was cresting from the East. It was truly a dreary late fall morning that would have been uneventful anywhere else. Most people would only look up long enough to realize that the sun was not going to show its self today.
The parking lot was empty and I was all alone. The cabins were all locked up and the place was in its final stages of preparation for the long winter months.
I followed the path and walked to the observation point overlooking what has been described as one of the “seven wonders of the world,” astonished by its amazing beauty and sheer depth. The wind was blowing so hard I had to hold my tripod steady to stop it from blowing over. And then it happened, just for a moment the sun came out and added a little bit of color to this amazing scene. I stood in absolute awe of this magical and spiritual place, feeling a peace and sense of purpose that I have become akin to only when experiencing the great vastness of the outdoors and the natural beauty that we are blessed to have around us.
Then, it dawned on me, out of 7 billion people on the face of the planet I was the only one seeing the sunrise from the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. At first it was hard for me to really comprehend that fact. I was the only one on the face of the planet that was seeing this sunrise from this spot. I was overwhelmed by a sense gratitude and appreciation. That experience has affected me every day since that morning. It also taught me one of the most valuable lessons I have ever learned. LIVE IN THE PRESENT MOMENT!
You see, what I’ve realized is just how numb we as a society have become to live life in the moment and to its fullest. The truth is as we get older, we become more set in our ways. We get up at the same time every morning and follow the same routine. We go to the same job every day and complain about the same people and the same mundane tasks. We go home at the same time every night and watch the same sitcoms every week instead of living life in the moment and then we wonder why things aren’t different. The old adage of “crazy is doing the same thing over and over and expecting results,” is absolutely true.
My question to you is this; if you had a chance to do something different in your life that you believe would make you happy, would you take the risk and do it? Are you willing to change something for something better? What are you willing to give to feel alive?
Now that I’ve laid that question out there, let me preface it by stating that you have a chance everyday to do something different and live in the moment. The only thing that is stopping you is you. I’m not talking about packing a bag and disappearing in the middle of the night, but I am talking about doing something every day that makes you feel alive.
Too many of us are either trapped in the past or worried about the future and because of that we choose to not live in the present. The fact of the matter is simple; we are either busy living or busy dying. There is no alternative so which is it going to be?
The reason I bring this up is because I have been there. I have squandered opportunities of happiness because I was consumed with the past. I have neglected chances for present day fulfillment and meaning by excessively worrying about the future. It is easy to become consumed by all of the things that we can’t control. In so doing, we essentially limit our ability to find peace and happiness in the present. Take a moment today to look around you and see all of the magnificent blessings that are in front of you right now. Seize the moment…….seize the day.