“Daddy, is it time to get popcorn?” my 3 year old daughter whispers in my ear at the 50 yard line during the halftime celebration. The announcer had just rattled off all my accomplishments for the past 30 years as a way to justify my induction into the Charlotte Catholic High School Hall of Fame. It felt more like a eulogy to me, and Mariah did not seem impressed. She did not care what daddy had accomplished in the past. All she cared about is what daddy was about to do… buy her popcorn after the ceremony.
There seems to be three ways we experience life: reflect on what we have done, enjoy what we are currently doing, and dream of doing something even better. All three are important, and I think we should all enjoy moments of looking back at our own lives and celebrate what God accomplished through us.
Standing at the 50 yard line of my old high school forced me to reflect on my past, but I was often distracted by another question, “What is next?”
I often live my life looking for the next adventure or the next social ill to try to solve. Then Mariah steps into my story and reminds me that sometimes my most important job involves a small box of buttered popcorn. These moments seem routine and disruptive. I dismiss them as background noise to more important accomplishments that await me. Then I see Mariah smile as she stuffs her cheeks with as much popcorn as possible and say, “Thanks, daddy.”
These moments will never be mentioned in any Hall of Fame inductions, but I am learning to love them more than anything else. I am done looking back and I am still unsure of what is next, but for now, I will continue to enjoy buying small boxes of popcorn.