In an Instant

I used to joke with my sister that the only thing she knew how to cook was instant grits.  You know, the kind of grits that come in a little packet that you dump into a bowl , add boiling water, stir and eat.  Quick and easy.  Culinary skills aside, we did eat a lot of instant grits growing up and admittedly so, I’ve eaten them as an adult.  With enough butter or cheese added in, the grainy morsels taste less like the cardboard box that they come packaged in.

A couple of weeks ago during a grocery shopping trip I came very close to buying a box of the quick and easy breakfast item.  No joke.  I almost picked up a box of the bacon-bit flavored ones (those were my favorite back in the day).  As I stood there and considered tossing them into the cart, for just a brief moment I had a flashback of my childhood days.  I thought of my sister and the joke between us.  I thought about how we used to eat instant grits. And I could taste the bacon-bits and the extra large spoonful of melted butter.  In the end, I decided to walk away from the carb-laden quick-meal and I moved on to another aisle.

The words “in an instant” have been on my heart and mind for several days.  From the brief encounter with a memory in Kroger to the moment when I opened my eyes at 5 am this morning, my thoughts have frequently turned toward the thought of “instant.”  Maybe it’s the lingering heartache from the recent loss of four teenage/young adult girls who were killed in an automobile accident a few days ago.  I’ve witnessed my daughter, her high school and our community grieve.  We’ve all mourned with and for the families of those who lost their lives on that foggy, Saturday night.  We’ve cried. We’ve prayed.  One moment those young girls were alive and vibrant and then – their lives on this earth were ended.  And things were changed.  In an instant.

Perhaps too I’m thinking of that moment when I recently fell into an unseen hole in a sidewalk and landed full-body-weight on my left arm.  And ended up with a severely contused elbow and wore a sling for a week.  One minute I was walking at a normal pace toward a pre-determined destination and in an instant, I was on the ground, writhing in pain.  Just like that.

I’m also reminded of family members who are battling cancer. And countless others I know who enter through the doors of a medical office for a regular visit and walk out with a terrifying, life-threatening diagnosis.  Or the wife whose husband of 30 years comes home from work and announces that he wants a divorce.  In. an. instant.  Life. Forever. Changed.

Life.  Made up on moments.  A compilation of “in an instants.”  It can be down-right depressing – and scary – to think that my life, your life can so drastically change – or end – in one, too-short-to-comprehend, fraction-of-a-second INSTANT.

It makes me stop.  To think.  To pray.  To reflect.  To evaluate.  And to be ever so thankful.

As much as life can (and will) change – and as much as these changes often hurt and cause us to question and to grieve – I’m so glad that in an instant, through a repentant heart and a willingness of acceptance, Jesus Christ entered my heart.  I’m grateful that His offer of love, mercy, grace and forgiveness was available to me.  In an instant, He changed my life.  For the better. For eternity.  For His glory and His purpose.

This particular post has been in the works for two weeks now.  I would work on it and then put it aside, never quite finishing my thoughts.  Unsure about its ultimate intent and purpose, I just couldn’t hit the “publish” button.  And when I woke up this morning, after yet another devastating news story of the attacks in Paris, I realized that the “instants” will never stop. There will always be stories to tell.  Moments to share. And life – for better or worse – will continue – until it doesn’t.

Have you had your “instant” moment with Jesus? Have you met the One sent by the Creator of the Universe to live among us and die for us so that we, in an absolute instant can spend eternity with Him when our time on this earth has ended?  I hope and pray that you have.  If not, I pray that you will.  Now.  Your life can be forever changed.   In an instant.