“Look!” my friend exclaimed as we passed a herd of giraffes running on an open plain in Kenya. Having just learned to shuffle a deck of cards the night before, I was looking down, practicing my new-found talent as we drove along. I almost missed the moment, but, thanks to my friend, I looked up in time to see the unforgettable sight.

The more I read about things spiritual, the more I hear it boiled down to our need to do one thing: wake up! Like I was in the car, we often get distracted by things that don’t matter and miss the things that do. Consumed by thoughts about the past or future, the present slips by us unnoticed. Busy with trivial things, we miss the unforgettable moments outside our windows.

I remember once looking around an auditorium to see who was attending and almost missing my child’s performance.

I remember my anxiety over resources blinding me to the wonderful new non profit coming into being.

I remember being so distracted by the poor service at a restaurant that I have no recollection of what my son and I talked about.

I remember wondering if I would ever reach the top of the mountain that I missed the many vistas along the way.

I know that I am not alone, but the company of equally distracted people does not diminish my regret over missing so much of life. Rather than bemoan the loss, I am going to try and wake up. Although I have had years to practice the art of slumber, it’s never too late to change one’s course.

Slowly, but deliberately, I want to put down the “playing cards” that distract me and look out the window and see the world around me. Better yet, I want to stop the car, get out, and run with the giraffes!

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