Defining Moments

Can you look back at moments in your life and truthfully say “that was a defining moment.” What did you mean? It generally indicates a point at which something in your life changed forever. The easy ones are births, marriage, the death of a parent or loved one, and other dates that you mark on your calendar. But there are others that may not be as easy to define. Most are negative, like the loss of a job, but they can be positive events such as when you met someone significant or attended a special event. Others are personal such as a lapse of judgement or overcoming adversity. But they can also be something else. Defining moments are those pivotal occasions in life that shape who we are and significantly impact our trajectory. 

Defining moments often force you to ask “why.” They may also challenge your beliefs, cause you to act or think differently, or reveal your true character. We build trust within others by revealing to them our defining moments and sharing how they had a significant impact on our lives. They become the “stories” of our lives, revealing how we think and what is most important to us. 

The most important part of defining moments are how we react to them. If negative, are they “bumps in the road” or mountains to be climbed. Do we see them as opportunities, distractions, or even misdirection’s along our life paths? The most successful people see them in some specific ways: 

  • As a means of resilience providing opportunities to be flexible – if you do not define a defining moment, it may define you.
  • The way to acknowledge and face our fears – what we fear the most is what we usually need to do the most.
  • An opportunity to quickly assess and recalculate – who we are and what is worth fighting for, and what is not.
  • The chance to plan anew – create a solution-based action plan.

Defining moments help us to remember that life is not perfect, always go as planned, or fits a certain image or mold that we have for it. They can be exciting and help remind us that we are alive. 

The world has also had several defining moments throughout history that has significantly changed life for almost everyone. Looking back perhaps the first that we might point to is the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Jesus turned conventional thinking upside down by saying things like love thine enemy and pray for those that persecute you, eating and fellowshipping with sinners, and performing miracles. 

Others might be wars such as the American Revolution that gave a new country no chance against the most powerful army in the world, the Civil war pitting brother against brother and being able to mend the wounds afterward, and the two world wars that saw massive tragedies and incredible redemptions. We also survived incredible events such as 911, experiencing a whole new form of warfare called terror, where small countries struck great fear and resolve into the people, and the Pandemic, that showed the world the power of a health scare and set both government and private institutions spiraling in new directions for ever. 

I believe that we are currently being faced by a new and significantly different defining moment in the world. It is a time of great division and fear, mistrust and lies, powerful forces and average citizens pitted against one another. We no longer trust our government, so-called news sources, and other institutions. We see a change in the world balance of power, millions of illegal immigrates, many of whom are from countries unfriendly to the US, have invaded our borders unvetted, and we no longer have the respect of the world. A former president was found guilty of what many feel are made up crimes, and our current president and his family are under investigation by three committees of Congress. Yes, we are at a significant turning point from which there may be no clear path forward. 

Just as I believe that we are at a defining moment of history, I also believe that we can find our way through this and emerge even stronger. It will depend, however, on OneTRUTH Leadership and the intervention of God through an emphasis on love. In my next newsletter I will drill down more into this defining moment and what it will take to move beyond it.