“You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment.
Fools stand on their island of opportunities and look toward another land.
There is no other land;
there is no other life but this.”
–Henry David Thoreau
Ever have one of those days where you wake up, and the whole day you just can’t get your mind off an event that night? This is a story about one of those days.
All day I waited – waited and watched the time tick by; waited for 8 p.m.
The usher scans my ticket and I walk in – up the stairs, to the balcony, row L, seat 15.
My heart is pounding, and everyone in the arena is sitting on the edge of their seat, their eyes focused with anticipation at the piano on stage. It’s almost showtime.
Suddenly the lights go down – and the whole place erupts in cheers.
The spotlight overhead illuminates a single person walking to the stage.
Dressed in red, a little pudgy, and completely at ease he steps on stage, and sits at the piano. The moment his fingers start to play the crowd hushes,their impatience rewarded.
I get goose bumps just thinking about it.
The Soundtrack of My Life
In an instant I’m transported back to my childhood as Elton plays some of his old hits. Songs that my father would put on in the living room or on drives in the car. Songs that I’d hear on the radio in country after country. Some songs that were oldies even when I was growing up!
I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues.
(You’ll Be) Blessed.
For three hours the entire world, time and space didn’t matter. My todo list didn’t matter. Work, responsibilities – none of it came into my mind, as I was completely absorbed in the concert.
Once again however, my anticipation builds – he’s played so many of his hits, but when will he play my song?
Well, he doesn’t play it. My favorite Elton John song, the song that my dad had on one of his classic rock cassettes, the song that we’d listen to in our Oldsmobile driving around in Indiana – and he doesn’t play it. As he leaves the stage, my heart sinks as I wonder if he’ll play it during the encore.
He returns to the stage, and … he plays two notes. Crocodile Rock! The song I’ve been waiting for!
Seeing Elton play it was worth every penny.
(This is the song, but not the actual performance I was at)
Paying The Price
Before the show started I remarked to my mom how much scalpers were selling tickets for on Craig’s List – she was shocked, but we both agreed we wouldn’t even think of selling ours. When else would I get the chance to see Elton John?
It reminds me of a scene in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and a few sentences that have really stuck with me.
Briefly, the story goes like this – Willie Wonka has hidden 5 golden tickets in chocolate bars all around the world, tickets that will grant their winners access to his chocolate factory. Children around the world dreams of winning, some buying boxes upon boxes of the bars to try and win. Charlie’s family is poor and has to scrape together money to buy him even a single bar for his birthday every year. One day Charlie finds some money in the street and uses it to buy a bar – and it’s a winner! After Charlie gets home, he shows his family but thinks about selling his ticket since it’s in demand – and they could really use the money. His grandfather tells him:
“There’s plenty of money out there. They print more every day. But this ticket– there are only 5 of them in the whole world, and that’s all there’s ever going to be.”
You may have already guessed – this isn’t actually about chocolate, golden tickets or Elton John (well, maybe a little).
This is about our lives. This is about the choices we make every day.
It’s about taking advantage of the opportunities that come our way and living in every moment.
Today, this hour, this minute, this moment is special. Each chance we have is our golden ticket – and they aren’t making any more like it.
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