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With my daughter preparing to receive the sacrament of confirmation next month, the time for her to attend a retreat arrived.

I dropped her off the morning of March 10, 2018, at our parish center. Nearly five hours later, the confirmands’ parents and sponsors gathered at the nearby church for a brief meeting. That time called for parents and mentors to take a few moments and look at the examples that we can be to our children in a Christian way — especially in today’s fast-paced, technology laden society where all-things good and evil pop up in a thousandth of a second.

At one point, the facilitator suggested that we often find ourselves so rushed in life. We rush to get our children off to school, ourselves to work, our children to after-school activities, ourselves home to make dinner. You get it.

Through all of that, do we take a moment to stop and feel a peaceful presence or take in the beauty of the scenery or the moment? Do we wind down from technology for a substantial amount of time during the day? Most could probably say no.

The facilitator spoke of stopping and seeing the beauty in all things. The beauty, really, in creation. I thought about it later that evening as my children, a friend of my daughter’s and I headed home from my parents’ after celebrating my son’s ninth birthday. I looked to the night sky and saw many stars sparkling. They appeared quite brightly above my parents’ rural residence. I’ve enjoyed many an evening over the years staring up at them.

My daughter’s friend marveled at how pretty the sky scenery looked, and how neat it was to see them like that away from the street lights of town. It is a neat thing. A real treasure. A blessing, if you will.

Since that evening, I’ve tried to take moments like that and see the beauty in them: a quarter moon visible at twilight; a sunset over the mountains and trees; watching my daughter practice her dance steps for upcoming performances; looking at my son snuggled in for the night and drifting off to sleep. Consider moments like this little respites from the craziness of life’s daily doings, and savor them, often and much.