It is estimated that people blink 22 times a minute. That adds up to around 8 million blinks a year (give or take a few thousand blinks depending on how much you sleep). It is a small mechanical movement of our eye lids that all humans experience, yet we rarely think about how significant life can be if we measure it by blinks of an eye. I am sure you have heard that life can change “in the blink of an eye,” and I would bet that you have experienced your life dramatically changing in an instant at least once. Tomorrow, March 3, is the anniversary of my sister’s passing and marks one of the times in my life when this happened to me personally.
But what is amazing is that this happened in 2001, nine years ago. It seems almost impossible that this much time has passed since my last conversation with my little sister. It seems almost impossible that our family’s grief has gone in some way, shape and form, for almost a decade now. It has been a really long time since this car accident happened, but this speaks to the way we carry small moments in time with us for decades.
We live in a world that assumes the quality of an experienced is directly related to the length of time we spent in that moment. But I think my example this speaks to the contrary. My experience speaks to the nature of life and how fast time goes by. It also speaks to how quickly our path can change as well. Life has this way of making you feel like you are plodding along until you blink and find yourself in a new place that God has brought you. Sometimes this is a tough situation like losing a family member, but sometimes this is a fortunate turn of events where you receive a great gift from God. If you feel stuck, lost or confused about where you currently are in life, just know that things can change in the blink of an eye. Jesus is clear that it is our job, as disciples, to watch with hope and expectation, waiting for God to move (see Matthew 24:42). And we are ultimately hopeful because we know that one-day, in the blink of an eye, God will rescue us all from death and change us forever.
The Apostle Paul says it this way: “But let me tell you something wonderful, a mystery I’ll probably never fully understand. We’re not all going to die—but we are all going to be changed. You hear a blast to end all blasts from a trumpet, and in the time that you look up and blink your eyes—it’s over. On signal from that trumpet from heaven, the dead will be up and out of their graves, beyond the reach of death, never to die again. At the same moment and in the same way, we’ll all be change.” (1 Corinthians 15:51–53 MESSAGE)
I believe our job as Christ followers is to measure life in small moments of time. Malcolm Gladwell says, “When it comes to the task of understanding ourselves and our world, I think we pay too much attention to those grand themes and too little to the particulars of those fleeting moments…What if we stopped scanning the horizon with our binoculars and began instead examining our own decision making and behavior through the most powerful of microscopes?”
So my challenge to you is to soak up every moment of life, no matter how painful, joyful or monotonous it may be. My challenge to you is to be uncommonly hopeful that God can and will change things in an instant for those who are faithful followers of the cross. My word to you is that it is ok to blink, but don’t sleep on God moving in your life.