“But life’s not the breath you take. The breathing in and out that gets you through the day ain’t what it’s all about. You just might miss the point trying to win the race. Life’s not the breaths you take, but the moments that take your breath away.” —George Strait
Throughout the eighteen short years of life I’ve lived thus far, there have been countless moments that have taken my breath away (in a positive way). Many of those memories that first come to mind are big things—places I’ve vacationed to or big events or other things like that. One of the most breath-taking sights I’ve ever laid eyes on is the Grand Canyon. About six years ago, my family and I took a trip to Sedona, Arizona. We were mainly going for the Grand Canyon because neither my brother nor I had ever seen it. (I believe my parents went to Colorado and saw it before we were around, but my brother and I were both super excited.) The Grand Canyon and area around it was absolutely beautiful—breath-taking. I was only twelve years old (and my brother had just turned nine), yet both my brother and I clearly remember just how in awe we were of the canyon.
Pictures I took at the Grand Canyon and surrounding area of Sedona, Arizona.
These pictures I took when I was twelve really don’t do it any justice—the whole area was truly gorgeous. The trip was quite a while ago, so unfortunately my memory of the experience isn’t as sharp as I wish it was. But even so, I do remember how it made me feel. Standing near the edge of the canyon (which, for whatever reason, had absolutely no guard rails or anything to keep you from tripping and falling to your death), I remember how fast my heart was beating and how I flat-out refused to go any closer than a few feet from the edge.
Even though the Grand Canyon was breathtakingly beautiful, there are still everyday things that manage to leave me in awestruck wonder of God’s creation and the blessings he has bestowed upon us—yes, even here in the temperamental Minnesota. I enjoy finding the beauty in simple things—things that are easy to take for granted if I don’t pause my busy life to take a look around. Many times, it’s the smallest aspects of the world that really get to me: The way the sunlight shimmers off a lake as the waves gently caress the beach; the boundless colors painted in the sky when the sun sets; the feeling of a cool breeze on my warm skin on a hot summer day; children laughing as they run around, carefree and jubilant, on a playground; the feeling of freedom as I drive down the road with the windows down and the wind blowing through my hair.
All of those things take my breath away—not just in the aesthetic beauty, but also in the irreplaceable beauty of how those instances make me feel. To me, they point towards the majestic beauty and power of the God I serve, and they lead to a deeper appreciation for the life I am blessed with. Even if you don’t believe in God, learning to value and appreciate the world you’re in is extremely beneficial. The way I see it, we should all slow down and take a look around, because otherwise we’ll miss some of the most beautiful things life has to offer us.