The pebble at the mouth of the river pushes the trickle of water this way instead of that. The downstream impact may be miles in the difference of the river's eventual course. A town will be built here, instead of there, to take advantage of the waterway. Isn't that amazing? That the first drops of water pushing a certain direction help set the course of a thousand thousand decisions later. The small decisions we make and act upon magnify in significance as we go. My prayer is that this wouldn't paralyze us, but that it would heighten our awareness that the things we do and the things we say matter more than we often realize.
Here are a few of my favorite beginnings:
- The moment the orchestra tunes to the principle instrument. Everyone is warming up their instruments in a quiet cacophany, structureless overall with a little snippets of melody ringing out and intertwining. Then they all fall silent and wait for the single note that they all tune into. Once tuned, the room falls completely silent. You'll catch yourself not even breathing, trying not to break the spell. The wandering, the silence, the unity of presence and focus. It's the promise of music, even though it hasn't started yet... I adore that moment.
- The pause before a baseball player steals a base. Coiled like a spring and ready to sprint or dive back to the bag... there is a tensity (and yes, I know that isn't a real word), like a gun cocked and ready to fire. It's the ready and set, before the go. Baseball slows time down in mystical ways for those who believe in it.
- Movie previews. It's harder to tell if the movie will be good, or if you've just seen the only 90 seconds worth watching... but is there anything better than sitting next to a friend, eating tasty buttered popcorn and smiling at the thought of the cool movie you've been waiting to see... knowing that Christopher Nolan's next Batman is almost here?
- Playing with a puppy... and watching them discover something new. It's the best thing ever! Then they find something else new and that is also, the best thing ever! It's life affirming to see that kind of experience and we remember our first love.
- Pretty much anything Evangeline does at any moment. Seeing the world through her eyes has been a wonderful, wonderful adventure.
- New car smell. That's an easy one :)
- The first page of a new book I've been looking forward to, or the opening sequence of a new video game. Both are fun moments for something I know I'll enjoy for hours to come. But it is the moment of sitting down, getting my tasty beverage set and ready to go... that I almost enjoy as much as the activity itself.
- Listening to Karen rehearse a new piece. It is fun for me to hear her step into a part and be able to play even the most difficult of pieces at about 90% just from her amazing ability to sight read. But from there, you'll hear her stop, mentally adjust and hit it again and it gets better. Then she'll hit it again and it's there. And it stays there the next time she goes through it. That's ridiculous for us mere mortals, but she's very good at the musical stuff. What on the inside of her head has to be 17 things... listening from the outside, it seems more like a tumbler turning, then clicking into place.
I haven't helped plant a church as one of the primary launch team before, but I fully intend to add it to this list very soon.
May God give us eyes to see a wonderful beginning.