An Antique Store
"Each moment is an irretrievable gift; an
unredeemable slice of eternity..." ---unknown
I always thought I lived outside of history--it was
somewhere behind me, written in books or stored in pictures, or so far away in
the future that it had no relevance for the now. But I had only to
enter an antique store to find out why I thought that way.
When we are young and all the world lies before us as a
great adventure, the thrill of tasting the new and inexperienced propels us
forward, as if paddling down some stream in a canoe, leaving behind
us fragments of memories that time erodes away.
The antique store made me return upstream for a visit.
There, amid hundreds of thousands of items once considered insignificant and
mundane, lay history that happened while I was living sandwiched in this
erroneous thinking. Old 78 records, childhood books, playthings--each one
jarred the memory of an experience once lived and tasted in rapturous joy.
Oblivious to the metamorphosis taking place over many years, as things aged
and silently faded out of my life and something newer tantalized and drew my
attention away, I had become an evolutionist of sorts--caught up into living a
life of constant acquiring and discarding, without realizing the historical
value of the moment at hand. And all that lay ahead kept rolling toward me,
passing by unappreciated until time one day exposed the true worth and value
it could have meant to me when I was so unaware of it.
We may wonder why older folks sometimes dwell on the past.
It is because so little lies ahead that has not already been savored and
tasted; and walking among memories is a futile attempt to re-capture those
times and live them over again--but with a maturity, appreciation, and wisdom
that now knows how incredibly precious each moment was, and with a regret that
so many were wasted away.
My visit to the antique store affected me. I now saw the
importance of now--the moment at hand. I began to see that now
was history being made; each and every minute of my life was my history
being made. Even the dull and wasted ones-- the ones spent in impatient
waiting, in foolish and frivolous dabblings were being recorded for what they
were. For a life that is lived without recognizing and treasuring the worth
of each moment can easily stretch over decades and leave behind little more
than a statistical evidence we existed at all.
Gloria Gaither's lovely song, "We have This Moment" tells
us this truth:
"We have this moment to hold in our hands,
And to touch as it slips through our fingers like
Yesterday's gone, and tomorrow may never come,
But we have this moment today."
The other day I was waiting at an elevator. The button
"up" had been pushed, but the elevator was slow in coming down. A lady
standing beside me turned and said, "It seems like that's all we do
anymore is wait, wait, wait!"
She caught me at a time when all of these thoughts about
time were running through my head, and I responded to her, "Yes. And what
will you and I do with these moments?"
I could tell it caught her off-guard, and as we finally
entered the elevator and ascended to the second floor, I continued: "There
are many people who would desperately like to have these two minutes we have
spent just anxiously waiting. For if we were to add up all such minutes over
our lifetime, it might add up to several years. I am sure that if it were
possible, they would eagerly accept what you and I throw away as a waste of
There was a silent, brief pause as we reached the second
floor and the door finally opened. She turned again to say to me, "Thank you
for those words...I won't forget them."
And I proceeded on my way, glad for the lesson of the
antique shop, and that I had made something of two minutes of my life...
"..we look not at the things which are seen, but at
the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the
things which are not seen are eternal."
(2 Co 4:18)
That is how you and I step into history!
MARY E. ADAMS
DEAR READER: Thank you
for taking the time to read this. If it has ministered hope, encouragement or
insight to you in any way, would you please take the time to send Mary Adams a
quick E-mail at
and share the blessing with her? She would love to hear from you!
Also, if you would
like to be reconciled to God today, please
to learn how you can do that.
If this testimony has touched you in
some special way, would you please share it with us? Email us at: