By Ed Sciulli
Recently, I was reading an article that detailed how the actor Tom Holland learned he was cast as the new Spider-Man. After coming to the US to audition (he’s british), he waited in Atlanta with family for a few days as directed by the studio. Hearing nothing during that time, he left for home, checking his phone “every twenty minutes” for some news. It wasn’t until months later while scrolling through Instagram that he saw a link that read” click here to see who is the new Spider-Man!”. Heart racing, he followed the link to find that he was cast in what would be the role of his young lifetime. A few hours later, he received a call from the head of Marvel Studios confirming his casting, to which he replied, “I know. I saw it on Instagram - did you think I wouldn’t see that?!”
I doubt anyone reading this will find themselves in that situation (that is, discovering they have been cast as a superhero in blockbuster franchise), but we often find ourselves in one place in life, and then some sudden news changes things. The phone rings and we learn that someone is in the hospital. The pregnancy test is positive. The “check engine” light suddenly comes on. A letter comes in the mail that holds the answer to whether or not you have been accepted to your top college choice.
Our lives are composed these Instants that chart the direction for the next season of our lives, until of course the next Instant occurs. We find this pattern throughout the bible, in particular, within the christmas story. Mary learns she’s pregnant. Joseph learns that Mary is pregnant. Angels show up. Dreams are dreamt. Shepherds get notified. Stars suddenly appear. Not only did the lives of Mary, Joseph, wise men and shepherds change, but as we now know, the whole of the world was changed in that Instant.
That seems to be the way God designed life for us. We go about our daily routine until such a time occurs that that we are pushed in what seems a new direction. But really, it’s not a new direction but simply the next milepost in the story that is our lives. Certainly things may change in how we were living yesterday compared to now (now being after an Instant), but it is in fact these Instants that we long for. When we tell our stories, we don’t discuss the mundane and everyday. We tell of the moments that stand out from the everyday. We tell of the Instants.
So, as we make our way through Advent, preparing ourselves to experience again the Instant that it all changed, take time to reflect on the Instants that God has given you, the moments that make up the story that is you. Sit with those moments using the lights and songs of the season and give thanks for gift that God has given you in your Instants.