• easpenner

At Any Given Moment

Updated: Jul 22

A few weeks ago, my husband and I had the honor of watching “Lone Survivor”, the story of the Navy Seal mission in Afghanistan that went horribly wrong. The range of emotions that flooded my body was insatiable. Tears. Laughter. Goosebumps. Stomach-Churns. Admiration. And my mind started racing…



As strange of a connection as this may be, this is where my thought process led: When I ran track in high school, I used to get incredibly nervous on the day of track meets. As in did-not-talk-to-anyone-from-sixth-period-on, nervous. I was a strong runner. And I felt the pressure. The drive. The desire to break records and create new ones. And throughout this entire pursuit, the only thing that pushed me through the butterflies, the nerves, and the anxiety was the fact that while I was out in my lane, running with all my heart, for 60 seconds, or 145 seconds, or 1,200 seconds, all around the world, millions-upon-billions of people were experiencing “life” moments in their own ways. And it took the spotlight away from me.

While I was pushing through pain, breath-catching, and heart-pounding, at the exact same moment…

~someone was celebrating a birthday

~someone was in tears

~someone landed their dream job

~someone was experiencing serious heartache

~a new life was being celebrated

~a beautiful life, cut too short, was being mourned

In an odd way, it erased some of the pressure from my mind. Yes, I was running my heart out in a high school track meet, but there were much. greater. things. going on in the world. And it provided me a sense of ease and relaxation. It is a tactic I have learned to use in many situations. That no matter how worried, nervous or anxious I might be, there are others in our world experiencing these same feelings tenfold.

So, as the scenes of “Lone Survivor” rolled on, my mind jetted back to my high school track days. As these courageous soldiers, hiding in the hills of Afghanistan, were literally fighting for their lives, the rest of the world went on as normal. Babies were born. School days continued. Family dinners were had. Sporting events were attended. Tragedies struck. Miracles happened. And I wondered where I was at the exact moment that they were in the middle of the hardest battle of their lives.

And I couldn’t help but think, that at any given moment…

~a decorated military veteran is shivering in the bitter cold, scrounging street dumpsters for food, while we sit in a warm home enjoying a meal with our families

~a young soldier, just recently returned home, is pushing through the nightmares of PTSD, while we are living out our dreams

~a new father, who missed the birth of his first child, is trying to catch up with his lonely wife thousands of miles away, while we complain about getting together with extended family for the upcoming holidays

~a wounded warrior, who has found himself in the most unfathomable depths of depression, is haunted by nagging thoughts of taking his own life, while our lives are sprinkled with countless moments of laughter

~a marine, hidden in the hills of a foreign country, is l.i.t.e.r.a.l.l.y. praying for his/her life, while we sit within the protective walls of our warm, comfortable homes



Our soldiers are our country’s backbone. Our protectors. Our providers. Our freedom-makers. Our warriors. And as we roll through the comforts of our day-to-day lives, I can’t help but think what an insurmountable sacrifice has been made to us, whom these heroes have never seen or met in their own lives. They would give their lives for us. With n.o.t.h.i.n.g. requested in return. THEIR LIVES.

So, as life continues on. And you find complaints or inconveniences, grumbles and grievances creeping into your mind, take a minute to think…



At any given moment, without the sacrifice of an incredibly courageous American soldier, your dreams would have been just that…dreams. Wishes. Hopeful thinking. Fantasies.

We are entering a season of Thanksgiving. Of compassion. Of giving to others. Of celebrating blessings. Don’t forget who made it all possible for you. To live in such sweet, beautiful freedom. Without any request for even a simple “thank-you” in return.

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