Being Grateful ≠ Being Complacent

Learning the art of enjoying the moment…

Aaron Charles
5 min readSep 2, 2017


Photo credit: Warren Wong on Unsplash

The taste of my turkey club panini rested on my tongue, but the words lingered in my mind far longer. I was getting lunch with my friend, Zac. He’s someone who simply inspires you. That was no different this Tuesday at lunchtime.

The conversation had shifted to dreams of the future and the struggle to live in the moment at times. Then he dropped some wisdom.

“I try to focus on being grateful,” he said.

Simple statement? Yes. Powerful impact? Completely.

“I try to focus on being grateful.”

You see, I’d been wrestling with this seemingly constant struggle between the present moment and the ideal future long before I sat down at the deli that day. These words from Zac were the catalyst for a pretty spectacular journey in my life over the next few days.

A journey of moments.

Waiting for Baggage

As I set my carry-on in the overhead compartment, I realized that I hadn’t set aside any of my usual in-flight entertainment. I went to unzip my bag and grab my headphones, but I stopped when I noticed the long line of people behind me waiting to get to their seats.

“Don’t wanna be that guy,” I thought.

I made my way to my seat and sat down. No podcasts. No books. My phone would soon be on airplane mode. By the time we were in the air, I had read through all the interesting parts of the airline magazine.

And so I watched.

The plane was climbing higher into the sky above Chicago. Clouds were gliding past my window. And then, we made it above them. All I could see for miles was the fluffy white tops of clouds. It was fantastic.

But then I still had no music to listen to.

I noticed a sign for wi-fi on the back of the seat in front of me. I quickly logged on and found that, of course, it wasn’t free. But I could get 15 minutes for just two bucks. “Just a few emails,” I thought. I had become “that guy.”

As I got my information fix, the clouds were still out there. The stillness of the moment was there…



Aaron Charles

Christ-follower. Husband to @SarahLCharles. Simple moments hold great power. Connect with me at my website: