An osprey circled over me on the beach this morning. His wings were spread in a wide span, his eyes unblinking, his attention entirely focused on the water below. Tightly coiling in the blue sky, he watched for signs of a school of fish, eager to make a killing dive. As I watched, I could feel the bird’s alertness, almost like a shiver on my bare arms and neck. He made me wonder if I’m ever that alert, that intent on the moment at hand. Do I sleepwalk through much of my day, idly going about the business of living, failing to connect with the moment, letting the day slip through my fingers in a superficial manner? What if I, like that osprey, truly concentrated on the time I’ve been given, what if I, like Christ, made use of each moment in prayer, praise or teaching. What if I lived my life with the intensity of that osprey? Please help me, father, to sharpen my focus and live my life fully alive and alert. The gift of life is so precious; forgive me when I squander it with lazy inattention. Amen.

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