There are many defining
moments in our lives. Some are subtle and only cause us to veer our life’s
course. Others are brash and when it hits us its like a head-on collision
with a freight train. Some recover from these moments and work to get back
on course. Some just stay on the new direction and never try to change
course. Either way its a struggle which lasts until the next defining
moment. This goes on until we reach an age when you don’t make any of the
decisions. If we change direction or veer from our course in our old age,
that moment is caused by others making the decision for you.
My greatest defining moment was and still is my religious decisions.
Whether we want to admit it or not, our defining how we connect with God is
one of the most important and lasting decisions we will ever make. I would
like very much right here to get you to buy into what I have found to be the
most wonderful and gratifying defining moment in my life. I won’t do that in
this column, but if you are interested, I would be more than glad to share
that with you in a phone call or e-mail. Some of the great motivational
speakers and super salesmen in this country tell us great success comes from
grasping and holding on to something greater than ourselves. Well, no one
can loose if they grab and hold on to God.
I have a preacher friend who has made a great defining moment. After almost
a lifetime of service, he is now joining the ranks of pilgrims who go off
each year as missionaries. I know this decision was made after a lot of
planning and prayer. I think we could all do with some serious prayer before
we make our defining moments. In fact his decision to make this change is
the reason for this column. Charles is a dear friend. One of those friends
who is always there for you no matter what course you take and always there
when life starts throwing those curves at you. Sometimes we don’t see each
other for a while, but when we do we just take up where we left off. Charles
tells people, “a true friend is one who knows everything about you and still
likes you.” I will miss Charles and will ask God everyday to watch over him.
I know that one day he will call and tell me he is back in town and we will
take up where we left off.
One great defining moment in my life was when I joined the military. One
minute I was a simple country boy sitting on a billboard next to a bridge
drinking a Pepsi, the next I am shoved into a mixture of young men from
twenty states and twenty different backgrounds, trying to survive boot camp.
I knew that my life had taken a much different course than the one I wanted,
but I also knew I would have to make this change and try to make the most of
the experience. After serving for three years I decided that the military
was not the direction in which I felt I should go in life and had myself
another defining moment.
A couple of real important defining moments we have that seems to give the
most trouble is our vocation and our life mate. While these defining moments
seem to take the most preparation and the most planning, they seem to be the
ones we stumble and fall all over. These are the defining moments we
question the most. These are the moments we seem to want to constantly
change. We are always saying to ourselves, “boy, old so and so sure is
successful, I wish I had a job like his.” A spouse saying, “I wish I could
trade the one I got for the one I thought I was getting.”
There have been a lot of those moments which I won’t go into in this
article. Some of them are funny, some are disastrous, and some made an
impact on my life that even yet the scars have not healed. So why write
about defining moments if you don’t give the gory details of your life’s
defining moments? The main reason is these were my decisions. No one but me
is responsible for them. No one except me can explain them. The direction in
which we travel through life is made by only one person, you. Oh, we can try
to emulate another’s lifestyle or way of life, but we have to make our own
path, our own way.
Our country is now at a defining moment. This (election) defining moment
will tell us The United States will set and run its own course or The United
Nations will set and run our course. There are those who would even turn the
election itself over to the United Nations.
My friend Charles used to warn his congregation that they were only a
pastor away from one who would wreck and devastate the congregation. The
next preacher didn’t do it, but the one who followed him wrecked the church,
scattered the congregation and the building is now a social center instead
of a church. If we are not careful, we as individuals and as a country,
could do the same.