Being ‘in the moment’ beats being ‘on time’

A vehicle knocked a utility pole to the ground Tuesday morning, causing an accident that pulled down “live” wires and tied up the north side of Conshohocken, PA, the entire day.

Didn’t know it when I drove into the mess, but decided there was nothing I could do but “surrender” to something in which, once again, I had no control. But, instead of  feeding into the frenzy mindset of “running late,” I followed a different path by choosing to drive under, what I call, “the influence of meditation.”

That’s right. I slowed down everything. The breathing, the heartbeat, that rapidly racing mind. Sure, I’m going to be late. They’ll start the 8:30 a.m. meeting without me. So I’ll walk into the room behind schedule (12 minutes late, as it turned out, but only one person I know actually saw me arrive). Who will it really bother? Other than my Self?

What a spiritual lifting this had given to me! My shoulders drooped and relaxed, my forehead unfurled and my jaw unclenched. I took a sip of coffee. And then another, but now I really focused on the taste of the brew, enjoying the warmth and that oh, so familiar awakening of the taste buds to a strong, black cup of java.

What’s this? The line of cars ahead is moving? I just closed my eyes for a few seconds. Yet, no one honked as the car in front moved some 30 to 40 feet along the road. I lift my foot off the brake and coast before coming to a slow stop. I can “play” with my “speed,” that is, let my vehicle “crawl” at a pace of five miles an hour like in a parade with no need to hurry, no need to go any quicker than this jaunt that allows me to smile at those in oncoming cars, nod my head and feel good just being alive in this all-America morning.

Too soon, I reach that car in front. But, look at the unusual black and red rescue trucks that just passed me by! The entire Ridge Pike, a major artery leading into Philadelphia, has been shut down so that specially trained men and women in those omnibus-type vans could get to the accident scene and prevent a catastrophe. Local police halt routine traffic so those premium vehicles can manuever and aid all of us, the entire community.

I’m grateful to have witnessed this. Don’t you just hate to be stuck in a traffic jam and never learn why you were forced into such a delay?

Now, after driving some more, I have finally gotten around the accident scene, and I can head back to the the main road linking my borough with Ambler, another “old” Pennsylvania town. Traffic is back to normal. I’m 10-minutes away from The Resiliency Center, and the clock this very minute has approached 8:30, the official starting time. I come to a red light and stop. Close my eyes and “feel” a deeper calm spread over me. I’m struck by an unusual realization:

Everything is, as it should be!  It’s a message that resonates throughout my entire being.

I embrace a smile, turn in the direction of my meditation “class,” and feel more enlightened “being in the moment” than “being on time” would ever had provided me.

10 comments on “Being ‘in the moment’ beats being ‘on time’

  1. Elena says:

    I love it. Beautiful example of what we all know we should be doing in a situation like that…but do we actually always take an opportunity like that to meditate, to be present?! Now every time something like that happens to me I will remember this story 😉

    Everything is, as it should be! – Thank you for that.


  2. Ahh the lessons of acceptance and surrender….so soothing to revisit after a period too easily slipped into of questioning and struggle. I know this journey well ! I love the mantra “Everything is, as it should be” and refer to it often to help bring me back into the moment…simply accepting that life has me exactly where it wants me !

    Great story Michael, thank you for sharing and for the reminder !


  3. onesurvivor says:

    Being in the moment. I can relate to that. How much do we miss out on due to not being in the moment and enjoying what we can?


    • contoveros says:

      We miss Life, with a capital L. Not the 4th of July, “fireworks” kind of Life. But, the gentle flow of one, mostly overlooked, moment connected to another.

      Thanks for connecting your moment with mine.

      michael j


      • OneSurvivor says:

        Yep…all those little moments in life when we can connect with each other and with our Creator. The ebb and flow of life.

        I am glad to connect my moment with yours. 🙂


  4. Aeve says:

    Very much enjoyed this one! I see often when driving rushing and taking risks only to arrive a few seconds earlier at a traffic stop… beautiful story of awareness… thank You 🙂


    • contoveros says:

      This “mindful” experience, unfortunately, is the exception. Normally, when I drive, my “mind” is elsewhere — on some future task, or mired in a past regret.

      The present is beautiful once we make a point to grasp it and not let thoughts or emotions take it away.


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