A popular slogan says, “Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.” I see the phrase everywhere, on everything from T-shirts to pieces of art. It’s a catchy phrase, but I think it’s misleading.
If we measure life by breathtaking moments, we miss the wonder of ordinary moments. Eating, sleeping, and breathing seem “ordinary” in that we do them every day, usually without much thought. But they are not ordinary at all. Every bite and every breath are miracles. In fact, having breath is more miraculous than anything that takes our breath away.
King Solomon may have had more breathtaking moments than anyone. He said, “I did not withhold my heart from any pleasure” (Eccl. 2:10). But he expressed cynicism about it by saying, “All of it is meaningless” (v.17 NIV).
Solomon’s life reminds us that it’s important to find joy in “ordinary” things, for they are indeed wonderful. Bigger is not always better. More is not always an improvement. Busier doesn’t make us more important.
Rather than look for meaning in breathtaking moments, we should find meaning in every breath we take, and make every breath meaningful.