I had the opportunity to watch the US-Portugal game yesterday in the World Cup. It was an exciting afternoon made even more so if you're a soccer fan to begin with.

if you missed it, let me give you a quick rundown:

  • Portugal scored first, in the first 5 minutes of the game
  • The US didn't respond until late in the second half
  • The US scored its second goal even later in the second half
  • With a loss, Portugal was knocked out of the Word Cup
  • With a win, the US was guaranteed a spot in the round of 16
  • Alas (from an American's perspective), Portugal scored a second goalĀ in the last 20 seconds of the game

Up to Portugal's second goal, the Americans' victory was all but assured. Commentators were raving about how well the US team had played and how sad it was that Portugal wouldn't advance. Then, in a split second, Portugal snuck a header into the US goal and, with the score set at 2-2, the game ended in a tie.

As a result, both teams are still fighting for a spot in the group of 16.

Change Is Sudden

In a game that takes 90+ minutes to actually play, it's outrageous to recognize that the overall outcome of the match can change dramatically in just a few seconds. Literally, one second the commentators were talking about the US' assured win. The next they were pulling back in shock and trying to explain how, despite the tie, the USĀ might still have a chance at advancing.

A night and day difference in situations and attitudes caused by a split second of action on the field.

Just about everything in life can happen this quickly. One second you're getting back in the car, excited about your roadtrip north to see friends - the next you're exchanging insurance information with the driver who carelessly hit you from behind. One minute you're watching Frozen on an airplane with your family - the next you're making an emergency landing to find medical support for your spouse.

Realizing just how suddenly and completely life can change around us is a constant reminder to find joy and pleasure in the now. You never know when the enjoyable situation will fade - or be ripped from you - so make the most of it while you can. Further, look back on it with fondness when circumstances change.