June 28, 2007

Big or Little or Something Else ...

I've been chatting with another youth worker in the city during the last week and one of the questions that we've been chewing on is all about those "life-shaping moments" we experience ...
  • You know, the line from some movie you saw two years ago that has found a permanent home in the front of your mind and tends to influence the way you live your life.
  • Or maybe we're talking about the car accident that you were in, and as you laid there helpless while waiting for the EMS to arrive, you thought back on your life and made the decision that things would be different from that point on.
  • Maybe, for several reading this posting, this is about the first spiritual encounter that you remember having: the time when you "surrendered your life and rights to Christ" (as they say) and everything changed.
Here's the question we were asking and discussing:

Is it the BIG events that shape our lives,
or the LITTLE moments?

When I look back at my own life (I'm only 36, but there seems to be so much to look over my shoulder at - yikes!) I can clearly remember both big and small. I've had some of each shape me. More interesting though, is the possibility that what was a "BIG" event for me might only seem like a little thing to another person if I was to share it with them. Why is that?

I suppose that events and moments in our lives are all relative. What would be little and go unnoticed for me, might appear as a billboard sign in your life. I wonder if it all has to do with the context that we find ourselves in when we experience that instance?

Ultimately - big or small - event or moment - the gauge for how it effects us in the long term will be our "will". Do we let it effect us? Do we become numb to its life changing potential? Do we embrace the revelation that the experience brought to us? The answer to these questions is that really matters here.

I was reading the following story in my Bible yesterday ... I wonder what wisdom Hezekiah would bring to the table on this one?

1 In those days Hezekiah became ill and was at the point of death. The prophet Isaiah son of Amoz went to him and said, "This is what the LORD says: Put your house in order, because you are going to die; you will not recover."

2 Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the LORD, 3 "Remember, O LORD, how I have walked before you faithfully and with wholehearted devotion and have done what is good in your eyes." And Hezekiah wept bitterly.

4 Before Isaiah had left the middle court, the word of the LORD came to him: 5 "Go back and tell Hezekiah, the leader of my people, 'This is what the LORD, the God of your father David, says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will heal you. On the third day from now you will go up to the temple of the LORD. 6 I will add fifteen years to your life. And I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria. I will defend this city for my sake and for the sake of my servant David.' "

Imagine having 15 years added to your life? How would that change things? How would you "count your days" and "make your days count"?

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