Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Defining Moments

Defining Moments
"Every moment is not equal. Some moments simply pass, others determine the course of life."
There are certain moments and minutes that matter, certain hinge points in the history of each of us. Some seconds are so decisive they shrink the soul, while others seconds are spent so as to stretch our spirit. We are each faced with choices that once made will, in many cases, forever open or close doors of opportunity. These pivotal moments can carry with them consequences that can define our life.
One of the great lessons to be learned from those who have made correct choices is that they have decided on their course of action in advance. They have set their lives on such a path that when a moment of decision arrives, their reaction is natural.  

None of us can afford to be unprepared for defining moments. Fortunately we are not alone. I have found that when I surround myself with good friends (ones who are determined like myself to live a good life)  I am more apt to make good choices.  

When I was newly married, Trish and I talked of having children who would be smart, beautiful, talented, etc. Now 30+ years later, I pray for my children to be strong in adversity, to learn from their mistakes and to be compassionate and giving to those within their circle of influence. Too often those who do not have to struggle through life's challenges, do not develop the inner strength required to reach their potential.  

Each of us will have the opportunity to save others from hindering their spiritual missions. Every day we have opportunities to lift and assist others by living in harmony with high values so that others may draw strength from us and likewise make good decisions.
How often has each of us had an opportunity to spread sunshine in the lives of others by simply showing an interest in them - by saying "hello" or by offering to walk with them or eat lunch with them? When we enter a room, do we look for ways to make others comfortable, or are we only concerned with our own grand entrance?

Looking beyond ourselves can bring great satisfaction to us and much joy in the lives of others. An encouraging word uttered at the right moment could make a difference in another's day, or even another's life. Failure to act with courage in defining moments can leave lasting scars on the soul.

As I understand it, defining moments can come in two ways. First, and probably more important are what I call the quiet defining moment. It is when in the solitude of your soul, you determine your future actions. For example, you resolve to shun the grasp of addiction. You decide you will be honest and never cheat. Make a decision once, rather than again and again when situations and circumstances may make you more vulnerable to succumbing to the pressures of the moment. By rehearsing in your minds eye your responses and reaction to various situations, you will prepare yourself for the second type of defining moments. These moments come when we are unaware and have the power to reveal your character for better or worse.    

Early in my high school experience, I had a science teacher, Joel Rosenberg. He had taught a segment of my freshman science course and upon seeing me as a sophomore in his science class (the class for the dumb or lazy kids) said to me. "Kyle, you don't belong in this class! You're better than this. Next semester I want to see you in my chemistry class." At that point in my life, I was struggling with my self worth and had decided to take the easy road and not challenge myself academically. When I was encouraged by a teacher who saw more in me than I could see in myself, I rose to the challenge. In less than a minute, this man boosted by self-worth and self-confidence that put me on the right track with my schooling. For me, this was a defining moment.

Please take some time to reflect on your defining moments. Who or what has influenced your life. Are you conducting your life as you should?  Are there course corrections that can be made? Vices or addictions that need to be rooted out?   

Define your life to be one filled with love, service and the blessing of others.  That my friends is "the secret".  Happiness cannot or never will be found in acquiring material possessions or in any selfish pursuit (however you may justify it).  

Dr. Kyle Christensen
January 21, 2014 

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