16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.
Luke 2:16-19 (NIV)
The other night at the dinner table, my toddler had one of those made-for-the-camera moments and I exclaimed, “I wish I had a picture of that!” It’s an interesting phrase that has seeped into our language and thought life which makes an assumption. Each time we participate in a serendipitous event or scene and immediately associate it with a digital copy of the scene, we take the chance of losing the moment.
In the passage above, Mary is experiencing one of the most amazing and humbling events in human history. Not only is she present for the birth of Christ, she is the one to hold him and welcome him to the human race. Many songs have been written about this unparalleled occurrence, but none come close to Luke’s summary: But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.
I wonder how my life would change if this were more of a practice in my life; to treasure moments and bend my thoughts to their unpredictable beauty and innate value? What if we, like Mary, kept those moments inside of us, changing us and forming us into better versions of ourselves? Instead, we wish for cameras and scrapbooks to file these memories away and slowly let them fade away in our minds and hearts.
I don’t mean that cameras are evil or that documenting special events in pictures is somehow unspiritual. However, I do believe that if it becomes a replacement to the internal camera and scrapbook, we can lose little pieces of ourselves and those we love with each click of the shutter. Next time one of those unplanned perfect moments works its way into your life, squash that urge to snap a pic. Treasure it, ponder it and make a memory that won’t fade or perish. I know I will.