Do people still say “That’s a Kodak moment”? More accurately today, we should probably say “That’s an Instagram moment” or “Here’s a Snapchat moment.” And, just like almost every other amenity in our world of instant gratification, the moments we capture today are far more frequent and the product of the click is far more disposable than in the Kodak days. We no longer go to the store to buy film, put the film in the camera, discriminately and frugally choose the events and poses we snap, carefully wind the film to its non-light-sensitive end before opening the back of the camera, take the film out, go to the store again to deposit the used film, wait a few hours or a few days for developing, go back to the store to retrieve the developed pictures, excitedly go through the pictures to choose which ones we are going to keep and which snaps were wasted, and finally, purchase photo albums and/or frames for storing the photos. Folks did store them, back in the day, and now, a couple of generations later, people try to figure out who that is in the photos and, alas, when no one is sure, they, albeit with a little twinge of remorse in the overruling of some sort of familial sentimentality, throw the photos away. Digital is far more efficient and, although we haven’t gotten to the digital overruling-of-sentimentality generation just yet, clicking and moving the little arrow to discard photos into the little trash can icon may be far less painful than actually burning them in a real garbage can. As a matter of fact, digital disposal and erasure is probably making us regret less, in general. Many of our mistakes can be clicked away and we never have to look at them again.
Kodak moments, though, in my childhood were for capturing. In one little click and flash, a parent would try to grab a smile, a wedding photographer would try to catch an emotion, a son or daughter would attempt to record wisdom in an aged parent’s face. We were really trying to get the image of love on paper. We were trying to get a very temporary expression, event or emotion to last for a long time. We wanted to “freeze” Kodak moments in time. We wanted, in short, to have memory handles for the good times in our lives.
Have you ever thought about the fact that “…when we’ve been there ten thousand years…bright shining as the sun,” our entire lives—our sojourn here on planet earth— will be something like a Kodak moment? Just a flash. Just a click. Just a tiny speck of time in an infinity of existence (James 4:14). The button is being pushed now for you. The click is occurring as you are reading. The flash is now in your eyes and what you are doing with your flash of time is forever being recorded. It is an image that will never be discarded. It will appear before God in the day of judgment and the ramifications of what’s in the picture will determine your eternity. You and I are living in the “click” right now. We will live forever and ever, but never in the all-important click again. I think a lot about what’s in my picture. Once it’s developed, it’s there forever. It’s not digital. It’s permanent. I will remember it just like the rich man remembered from torment in Luke 16.
I hope you are really living in the click. I hope you and I are not just existing. I hope we are thinking about the big picture and how it’s going to turn out. I hope we are thinking about the final image in every decision and in every circumstance. I hope we are enjoying the click, too. After all, we’re not making a thousand selfies and then discarding all the ones we don’t like. Life is just one brief exposure to the shining Son. What we do with that Light determines where we will spend eternity.
Finally, one example of a man who is enjoying the click. My husband had a minor surgery (a hernia repair) a couple of weeks ago. (I know it’s only minor when it is happening to someone else.) He didn’t really handle anesthesia very well. I should have expected that he wouldn’t. (He didn’t think he would make it home from the hospital without fainting. Earlier in the year, he asked me if I wanted to go out for Mexican food the day I came home from the hospital after a fairly major surgery…. I had a tube and a bag hanging from my throat!…) There’s just generally a big difference in the way wives and moms handle sickness and the way the men in their lives cope with it. I love that difference. It makes me feel a little bit of mental compensation for all the many areas in which he far outshines me!) You should know I love being his nurse and I am so thankful he is now back in the saddle and riding pretty hard! (He still can’t lift heavy things and I am becoming more thankful each day for all the thousands of days that he has lifted all my heavy things for me!)
Anyway, here’s his “Pollyanna” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pollyanna) list written the day after he came home from this one-day procedure. I love experiencing the click with this man. I’m thankful that he plays what we call the “glad game” at every turn in our brief lives together for Him! (And besides, he makes me laugh.)
Reasons I’m happy to have had surgery on my middle:
1. It means I still have health care.
2. I met some gentle and friendly people who deal with people like me every work day. Reminded me that there are some times when the warmth of kindness is medicine.
3. I’ll never have to sit again and wonder what it feels like to wake after having an operation on my middle. Now I know.
4. It gave me the chance to give my sweet wife an “In sickness and in health” award. She’s wonderful.
5. It relieves me of the temptation to use mind-altering drugs. No way. Don’t like that feeling one bit.
6. It gave me a memorable example of a powerful woman. I said, “What you’re doing is making me dizzy.” She said, “You’re going to sleep now.” I don’t remember anything after that.
7. It gave me a couple of days where no one much expected me to leave my bed. Rest is nice.
8. I’m reminded that we humans will endure a lot to hold on to health. Hardly any price is too high.
9. I love my old friend, Paul, because as much teasing we trade between us, he’s the kind of man who says, “I hope you’re alright. I’ve been praying for you.”
10. It gave my children the chance to let me know they think they need me. And I need them.
11. It gave my mother the chance to show that she still thinks of me as a boy. I rather like that.
12. I’m enjoying the thought of just how long I can get Cindy to be at my beck and call.