There is a coffee shop in Hendersonville, NC that we are sure to visit every time we are in the area. It’s called Black Bear Coffee Company and it is right in the center of the city’s quaint little shopping district. Like many of the local coffee shops across the nation, this one has a certain atmosphere that is very attractive to me. The 2’x4’ ceiling tiles have all been covered with burlap coffee bags of various growers from which their coffee is soured. There is a small stage in the corner where live music is played on occasion.
When we stopped at Black Bear Coffee this summer, there was a young man outside in their outdoor seating area playing guitar and singing. He was very good. Sharon and I sat in the sun, on the perfect 60-something degree day, listening to Jimmy Clifton sing both covers of songs we recognized and some of his original music. It all made for one of those perfect moments in time that you remember forever and I made sure to drop some green in his open guitar case to show my appreciation.
Writing about this moment brought back several other moments that I could tell you about; like the time when we were on a mission trip in Tijuana, Mexico, spending a week, building a house for a family in need. The workdays were long and hot. It always felt good to come back to camp – which was a horse event stadium – for dinner, a shower, and sharing about the day before hitting the sack for the night. A sleeping “sack” to be exact (a.k.a. sleeping bag) on a cement floor in the stable area. Comfortable sleep was not part of the picture on this trip and some were a bit paranoid about the possibility of the wandering bugs.
One evening, they brought in a mariachi band to perform for us. They were great!… matching outfits, studded with rhinestones, Mexican hats, instruments, including the largest acoustic guitar I’ve ever seen. The horns were blazing and the singing was loud and celebratory. As we stood in the dark, warm evening air, I was struck by the beauty of this once-in-a-lifetime experience and I didn’t want it to end.
What are the elements that make for a special life moment? I think about it being an experience that you share with people you love, first and foremost. The North Carolina coffee shop moment was shared with my beloved Sharon. And the evening of Mexican music was with a very large group of youth and their leaders, who bonded in a very special way.
Can a moment be manufactured? Well, we can try, but the two that I write about here were moments that just happened. When you’re in a moment, you know it. You look around and soak it all in. You may have the thought that I may never have this exact experience ever again.
What are the moments of your life? As you look back, I’m sure you have had some that have become a precious part of your life journey.
We cannot manufacture a moment like these, but we can make ourselves available because you never know when a moment will happen. So, the number one thing I will leave for you to consider today is: Participate in life opportunities! Spend time with the people you love. Make yourself available for those times when a moment happens.
“How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!” – Psalm 133:1