The Next Time

The next time some guy cuts you off in traffic, pray for him—like really, really, pray for him. Pray that he might have all the good things in life that would make his life truly incredible.

The next time your kid breaks something of yours that you love, take her in your arms until you’re ready to let the item go. Then tell her she’s better than any silly whatever-it-is.

The next time you’re stuck in traffic, find something beautiful, such tree, a cloud, or a sunset. Stare at and absorb it until the joy of it almost overtakes you.

The next time you see a casual acquaintance, talk to them like you really care, like they’re your best friend in the world.

The next time you get a ticket, fine, or extra charge for something, humbly accept it and genuinely wish the messenger a good day.

The next time you spill, break, or accidentally delete something, step back and laugh. Laugh and laugh like a loon until you really feel like laughing. Then laugh more.

The next time you have a private prayer, pray until you cry.

The next time your spouse says something that bothers you, take a moment to collect yourself, and then walk up to her and kiss her like there’s no tomorrow.

Sometimes changing a life doesn’t mean doing it right every time, just the next time.

I Blew It!!!

I blew it. My first chance and I blew it!

I’ve had a silly idea for a long time. Jenni and I don’t have a TV, so we never see regular episodes of anything. We do rent movies on DVD and watch them on the computer, but we’re determined not to get a TV. I’ve been working on my most recent book quite a bit lately, and I was talking to someone about it, and how much fun it has been to write. When the person I was talking to said, “How do you get the time?!” I fumbled with stuff about getting up early or staying up late, and a little about determination, blah, blah, blah.

After I left, I slapped myself on the forehead. I forgot – completely forgot! See, I’d had this idea that if anyone ever asked me how I get time to write books or CD’s, I’d simply say, “I don’t watch TV, and in the time I would have been watching, I write.”

But I forgot. Blew it on my first chance. Oh, well. Guess I better give up movies so I’ll have more time to write more and when someone asks where I get the time, I can tell them I don’t watch anything at all…

Hmmm…

Nah.

Making Moments: New Arrival

Okay, so I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted entries for the Making Moments project I was working on for nine months, but this week my new baby was born, and I decided that if I wanted to start it back up to complete the last three months, this would be a good time to do it, so here I go! I think I’ll post them more often this time, too.

New Arrival:

What an awesome experience! I got to deliver my own baby! Jenni was in the final stages of labor when the doctor turned to me and said, “Oh, by the way, would you like to deliver your baby?”

“Me? Really?”

“Sure. I’ll help you out.”

“Yeah! That would be awesome!”

So they dressed me head to toe in sanitary garb and the doctor coached me through catching the baby. My favorite part of the whole birth experience is the moment the baby is out and moving on its own. It’s even more amazing when you get to be the first to experience that.

Wow!

Sixty Days to Live…

play-with-me-baba For family home evening tonight we watched a movie called, “Return with Honor,” about a young guy who gets in a terrible car accident, and has a near death experience where he is asked what he has yet to accomplish in his life.  He gives his response and he is told that he has sixty days.

It got me thinking.  What would I do with my life if I knew I only had sixty days to live?  Obviously I would wish to be able to raise my kids and take care of my wife, but if I knew that wasn’t an option, and I only had sixty days left, what would I do with it?

I was listening to an advice call-in program on the radio one day, and I don’t remember what the caller was asking advice on, but the advice given was interesting.  “Your doctor just called you and said you have six months of life left, and not a day more.  I’m not saying this just to make you think about it, I want you to decide what you need to do in that six months, and then YOU DO IT!  Six months.  That’s all you get.  What ever you would do if you only had six months to live, do it.”

So, what would you do?  What would you stop doing?  What would you change?  Who would you visit?

Think about that  – whether sixty days or six months, whatever you would do in that time if you knew you were going to die, do it.

Homecoming – The Meaning Behind the Music

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Homecoming: The Meaning Behind the Music

Homecoming is one of the piano solo pieces from my Dayspring CD.

homecoming1

How comforting the light of the gospel is in the face of something as shocking as death!  Testimony, born of faith, adds a spiritual element to the otherwise abstract complexities of life.

That testimony is a real and powerful confidence that becomes indisputable in the heart of those that embrace it, and it is a real and life-sustaining thing.  This mortal life is but a moment.  After death we continue life as we had previously known it, before it was crudely interrupted by this frightening but essential phase of existence.

To those with such faith, death is not a thing to be feared at all.  In fact, death is more of a reunion than a separation.  The partings that come with death are only very temporary, and when all is said and done, this mortal life will seem to have been but a passing moment.

I have a photograph that I like to get out and look at once in a while.  It is of my older brother’s missionary homecoming. He is only seconds off the airplane from his mission to Brazil, in a tight embrace with Mom and Dad.  Their faces are full of excitement, joy, and love.

That picture has a lot of meaning for me.  I took it on my own full-time mission, and it reminded me that I must serve my mission honorably, so that when I return, I will have such a moment.

It also reminds me of another homecoming that I will someday experience.

The thought of leaving this life and rushing into the arms of my Heavenly Parents sometimes fills me with so much hope, and so much anticipation, that I have to remind myself that I still have much to do before I can qualify for such a reunion.

Perhaps it is the fear of the unknown that frightens us about death.  We thrive so much on regularity and tradition that even a minor change from the ordinary can throw us completely off balance.  Adventurous as we may occasionally feel, it seems that few of us feel ready to step beyond the comfort-zone of mortality into the surreal and unknown mystery we call death.  Even the most courageous people can’t deny that there is a bit of apprehension that accompanies impending death.  Perhaps to some, it is like lying down to sleep, knowing that whatever dream first enters their mind will be their new permanent reality.

But again, this is where faith plays such an essential role in our lives.  Life as we know it has the greatest opportunity for growth, experience, and learning.  It also allows us glimpses of the joy that will be available in the eternities.  Such glimpses give us hope for the fullness of joy that will be awaiting the righteous in the life to come.


Purchase Dayspring CD
, by Chas Hathaway, buy Homecoming MP3 on iTunes, or see other writings about the meaning behind Chas Hathaway’s music.

Making Moments

Making Moments

I believe that life is lived in moments. When I am old, will I look back and remember the daily routines that fill up most of the stuff of each day? I doubt it. Will I remember getting behind on a bill or school assignment? Not likely. Will I remember taking our the garbage and doing the dishes? Not really.

Chores, routines, jobs, and finances may be the mortar that keeps my life from falling quickly to shambles, but a building cannot be made entirely of mortar. And when it comes to living a meaningful life, it is the bricks that I will remember when I look back on my life.

And what are the bricks of my life? The moments – the moment I first noticed the girl who became my wife; the moment my daughter said something hilarious; the moment I felt great pain for a loved one; the moment I first saw my newborn son.

While some moments are life-altering, others just make the day a little more pleasant. Life is lived in moments. When I get so busy that I let such moments pass without my notice, life begins to feel rotten.

I have a wife and two small children. I have a full-time job, a mortgage, and bills stacked high. I’m also a musician and author. I’ve just published my first CD and I’m in the process of redrafting my first book. In addition, I am a partner in a new business that is small but growing. I am very busy. I know how easy it is to let the most important people in my life get the least attention. In fact it’s very hard not to let that happen.

I’ve discovered that it isn’t merely a matter of waiting for these precious moments with my loved ones come. If I wait for moments come, they only come occasionally. I don’t want my life to be made of mortar with a few occasional bricks. I want my life to be lined completely with brick, only using mortar for what it’s intended – to keep the structure together.

I cannot just expect the moments to come. I have to create them. I have to make moments. Whether a moment lasts an hour or only a few seconds, if I want my life to be filled with moments, I have to make them myself.

So I have made a decision. Actually, you might say I’ve begun a project. Remember I am a writer, and since I’m nearly finished with my first book, I need to start working on another. This is my plan: every day for the next year, I will keep a record of at least one moment that happened that day. Every day. I cannot skip, and I cannot make something up. It has to be a real incident, and I have to keep a record for every single day of the year. If I don’t have time to write the full incident on the day it happened, I can record a keyword or two and then write about it later – but the incident must eventually be written.

I’ve decided that for this project, a moment will be defined as a meaningful moment I had with a loved one. It may be a painful moment or a joyful one, so long as it was somehow meaningful. It can be as simple as a joke someone told, with the laugh we shared, or as deep as a desperately needed talk or hug.

In short, this project is an attempt to keep me looking for and making those precious moments that make life meaningful, both for me and my loved ones.

My commitment to record the daily instances keeps me accountable, and my intentions to later publicize them will motivate me to keep going. I’d publicize all of them on this blog – but remember, I’m intending to write a book, and I want to keep enough out of the blog to lure people to buy the book when it’s ready!

I do intend to study and write on some relevant topics on the subject as well, but the bulk of the book will be the complete collection of moments.

I hope this project will help any who read these entries to see that it is possible for anyone, under any circumstance, to reach out to their loved ones and make moments with them.

In terms of this blog, I will be doing other entries as well. This is my writing blog, but since my project will take up a good part of it for the next while, I’ve named it Making Moments.

The Power of an Ordinary Day

Most days are ordinary days. Most often, when I come to the end of the day, I can’t think of anything that occurred during the day to distinguish this day from any other day in my life. It’s amazing how many times a day starts full of grand ideals and ideas, with motivation, determination, or anticipation, only to end up as an ordinary, useless day.

We all know how precious time is, yet it still passes. It passes as quickly and effortlessly as the clouds that come and go unnoticed.

Some would consider it a depressing idea that an individual could be born, live, and die in complete anonymity. But to me, it is fascinating, because that inconspicuous forgotten soul can still progress to immortal glory, worlds without end. When you see things from the perspective of eternity, the least of us has as much potential as the greatest of us.

So what about time? Can a seemingly meaningless day be worth the value of endless days? Can my pointless day hold as much meaning as what another might experience in a million years of life?

I believe it can. Perhaps today was the day I thought of the idea of getting a book from the library to identify a tree in my yard. Days later I act on that thought, and check out the book, which leads me to take greater interest. Perhaps my simple thought may lead me to one day become a professional botanist or herbologist. Perhaps today I thought of the idea of emailing an old friend – or a new friend, which eventually leads to a lifetime friendship.

Have you ever wondered when Leonardo Davinci got the first thought, the first idea, to try doing something with art. Was he a child? Was it on an ordinary day? Did he even act on the thought for a few days? I’d be surprised if the very first inclination to try something creative didn’t come on an ordinary, boring, and meaningless day.

Most people meet their future spouses on ordinary days. Most people’s first exposure to their genius came on days that seemed to Continue reading