Some ticks of the clock have the power to take our breath away. I think those moments exist to remind us who we are and why we’re here. They come from out of nowhere, flooding our souls with either joy or melancholy or simply reason to reflect. I experienced one of these moments just the other night.

The four of us had just finished watching a movie together in the darkness of our family room. The fireplace roared with hearty flames to warm us as we relaxed together for an impromptu movie night. As the final scenes flashed on the large screen above us, Aaron and Victoria stood and stretched. Aaron, my quietly-growing 7th grader, approached me as I stood, preparing to share our traditional good-night hug before asking if I would come tuck him in. A new song of the soundtrack cranked up as the final credits rolled upward, and I reached to hug Aaron, only I didn’t let go. He looked confused for a minute until I took one of his hands in my palm, in traditional dance posture, and began to sway with him in front of the fireplace, my cheek resting on top of his head. We danced through the end of the song surrounded by light from only the television screen and the flames that danced with us. I glanced toward Dom and saw the sweetest smile on his face. And I never wanted that moment to end.

My favorite inspirational author, Max Lucado, describes what he calls an Eternal Instant as “A moment that reminds you of the treasures surrounding you. Your home. Your peace of mind. Your health. A moment that tenderly rebukes you for spending so much time on temporal preoccupations such as savings accounts, houses, and punctuality. A moment that can bring a mist to the manliest of eyes and perspective to the darkest life.”

This moment, this eternal instant, did just that for me. And so very much more.