Do you remember a defining moment in time when the earth shook under your feet and jolted you awake from your unconsciousness?
Or it may not have been so dramatic as an earth-shaking instant, but perhaps it was a more subtle shift in awareness, a mere seed planted in the psyche that grew to reach for the sky while you slept, like Jack’s magic beanstalk.
Defining moments come unbidden, like a sudden storm that catches you in the pouring rain and drenches your whole being. Or like a stray cat that quietly shows up at your door and welcomes himself into your life, invites you to adopt him and claim him as your own.
Moments like these come any time, any place, when and wherever they please. Maybe you were reading a book, or watching a movie, or taking a walk, or sitting in church, or chatting with a friend.
Maybe you had a dream that changed the course of your life, like Martin Luther King Jr.
Do you recall a certain moment in time when you were altered by a thought that hit you like a tornado, or either crept in gently like the dawning of a new day?
Most of us have had a number of these defining moments that appeared out of the blue to help shape our character. Certain movies possess the capacity to awaken and stir the soul to action, like Pay it Forward, which aroused a movement. Or Field of Dreams, which inspired a frame of mind.
Have you ever sat spellbound while viewing a movie, and afterward felt that you were moving through the actors’ world, walking in their shoes, living in their fictional dream?
Well I have, more than once. As a child I sat mesmerized in front of our TV and watched Anne Bancroft and Patty Duke portray Annie Sullivan and Helen Keller in the movie, The Miracle Worker. This was a defining moment for me. A desire was born that day.
I grew up wondering what it would be like to live in a world of silence. Every time I heard a train whistle, a clap of thunder, the crash of waves on the shore, the beauty of music, the singing of birds, the sound of rain, I wondered.
Could I become a miracle worker? Why not? Annie Sullivan transformed a feral and willful child into a warm-hearted, intelligent girl. And Jesus, a big-league miracle worker, even opened the eyes of the blind and the ears of the deaf.
Long story short: I responded to the call and set out on the journey of hope. But I’ll save my miraculous adventures for another day. You’ll have to wait for another carrot, or an apple. I won’t shove the whole bale of hay down your throat at one time. So stay tuned…
How about you? What has been a defining moment in your life?