The Magic Instant
By Paulo Coelho
For The Bali Times
We have to take risks. We can only truly understand the miracle of life when we let the unexpected manifest itself.
Every day – together with the sun – God gives us a moment in which it is possible to change everything that makes us unhappy. Every day we try to pretend that we don’t realize that moment, that it doesn’t exist, that today is just the same as yesterday and will be the same as tomorrow. But if you pay attention, you can discover the magic instant. It may be hiding at the moment when we put the key in the door in the morning, in the silence right after dinner, in the thousand and one things that all seem the same to us. This moment exists – a moment when all the strength of the stars passes through us and lets us work miracles.
Happiness is at times a blessing – but usually it’s a conquest. The magic instant helps us to change, drives us forward to seek our dreams. We shall suffer and go through quite a few difficult moments and face many a disappointment – but this is all transitory and inevitable, and eventually we shall feel proud of the marks left behind by the obstacles. In the future we will be able to look back with pride and faith.
Poor are those who are afraid of running risks. Because maybe they are never disappointed, never disillusioned, never suffer like those who have a dream to pursue. But when they look back – for we always look back – they will hear their heart saying: “What did you do with the miracles that God sowed for your days? What did you do with the talent that your Master entrusted to you? You buried it deep in a grave because you were afraid to lose it. So this is your inheritance: the certainty that you have wasted your life.”
Poor are those who hear these words. For then they will believe in miracles, but the magic instants of life will have already passed.
We must listen to the child that we once were, and who still lives within us. This child understands about magic instants. We can muffle his sobbing, but we can’t hush his voice.
If we aren’t reborn, if we don’t see life again with the innocence and enthusiasm of childhood, then there is no more sense to living.
There are many ways to commit suicide. Those who try to kill their body offend God’s law. Those who try to kill their soul also offend God’s law, although their crime is less visible to the eyes of man.
Let us be heedful of what the child within us has to say. Let’s not feel ashamed of it. Let’s not allow it to feel afraid, because it’s lonely and is scarcely ever heard.
Let’s allow the child within us to take the reins of our existence a little. This child says that one day is different from another.
Let’s make the child feel loved again. Let’s please this child – even if it means acting in a way that we’re not used to, even if it seems foolish in the eyes of others.
Remember that the wisdom of men is madness before God. If we listen to the child we bear in our soul, our eyes will shine once more. If we don’t lose contact with this child, we won’t lose contact with life.
Let’s live all the magic instants of 2009!
© Translated by James Mulholland
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