The Future is Now: Life’s Defining Moments
Have you ever heard someone talk about their “defining moment?” Have you ever experienced that type of moment? I think to some extent we have all been faced with situations that life throws us into, and in those moments we’re forced to make a decision. Forced to choose a path. That’s a daunting thought especially in today’s culture which presents so much of life’s philosophy as grey matter rather than moments comprised of black and white opportunities.
Taken on the whole life can seem grey, vague, or even coincidental. However, when you truly begin to analyze the seasons of your life, it is then that you’ll begin to notice these defining moments. A moment which defines the next step you’ll take, or a moment which will define the next several years (or longer) of your life. These moments aren’t grey, and they’re not coincidental. I submit to you that these moments are purposed, necessary, and are, in fact, very black and white.
The defining moments of our lives present us with either/or opportunities. While these opportunities may be presented in a bundle, that is to say more than two choices, they are certainly presented as different directions. Most of the time it’s as if these choices are in opposition to one another. It’s during that time that we must choose to advance in one, singular direction. After all, is it really possible for a human to walk more than one path of life at a time? I’d say no, because we’re not equipped for such a journey. We do, however, have the ability to see down the roads of varied opportunities in order to make the choice, which we believe at that time, will produce the most favorable outcome.
In our recent conversation with Havilah Cunnington (listen here), she mentioned an opportunity she was presented with when at just 17 years old. Raised in the church, and taught to follow Jesus, she had an encounter with God while riding in a car with some friends heading somewhere she knew she shouldn’t be going. It was in that moment that she was faced with a defining moment. She made her decision, and it was that decision that Havilah credits with defining the path that she’s still walking to this day. I’m sure she was faced with a myriad of other decisions along her journey thus far, but it is that one, singular moment that she remembers more than any other.
As I listened to Havilah’s story I saw so much of my own journey in her life. I too was raised in a minister’s home, and trained to know God. Even with all of the training and good parenting I had received, like Havilah, I found myself at 17 faced with two choices. I could continue the path that I was on, which wasn’t the healthiest direction, or I could succumb to the intensely loving pursuit of the father God. I chose God, and his path for my life rather than a path I would have conjured on my own. I didn’t choose God because he made me, or put me in such a terrible situation that I “needed” his help. It was actually quite the opposite. Life was good, really good. I had everything a teenager could want, except happiness. I was miserable. It was at that crossroads of decision that I began to see that my frustration was due to my exclusion of God in the process of my life. I realized that he didn’t want to own me, but instead he wanted to partner with me. My defining moment included me saying yes to God’s ability, love and desire for my life, and saying no to things that might be road blocks to that journey. I chose a path. That moment was black and white, and left no room for the grey.
Earlier I mentioned that these “defining moments” aren’t coincidental.
First, let me clarify what I do not mean by that: I do not mean that God is controlling our lives in such a way that we will be forced with no other decision but to choose him. God is not in control; he is in authority. He does not desire to control us as a master would his marionette doll.
Defining moments are not coincidental because God is in such a loving pursuit of us that he wants to give us any, and every opportunity to realize how much he cares for us. There is no end to the lengths God will go to continue His presentation of opportunities to choose him.
Why? Simply stated, because he loves you and he has the best for you. It’s not a matter of control, or his need to make you “good.” If you don’t believe that he would go to the deepest depths, or widest margins in order to declare his love for you, then you need only consider the life of his son Jesus. His life, death and ultimate resurrection should signify to each person that there is literally no action out of bounds for God to declare his love for us. I must point out that we can’t disconnect the actions of Jesus from the father. I say this because there are those who would want to separate Jesus’ actions from God’s love nature.
Hebrews 1:3 – The Son (Jesus) is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word….
The point of this scripture is to show us that God looks like Jesus. Whenever we wonder if God is good, then we can always return to finding his love for us through the life, words and actions of Jesus. It really is that simple, and knowing this simple good news makes the choices of our defining moments even that more simple.
The defining moments in our life aren’t encompassed by what college we choose, what career we have, or even the person we’ll marry. While those are all important, life changing decisions (especially the latter), our decision to follow God is the most definitive moment we’ll experience. If you’ve already had your defining moment, then I’m certain you’ll agree. However, if you’ve looked down two paths with God down one, and your life’s ambitions down the other, and have chosen your own: Don’t worry. Your chance will come again. And again. Perhaps it’s right now?
My point is that life is not a series of unfortunate events, but rather the opposite. Life is intentional, and we’re constantly being presented with new opportunities to see God for who he truly is. A loving father. Rather we choose him or not, he leaves up to us, but he won’t stop pursuing us. He won’t stop trying to win us back. Your future can start now. Can you see the path?