I find that life’s big things are rarely turning points. The forgettable happenings in life that often mark the shift in direction. I have no idea why, but I usually miss these events until they pass.
This weekend I got a call from a friend. He was calling to check up on me, wondering what was the latest news. He was curious. His questions centered on recent events. I found it fun to fill him in on the ins and outs of the mundane events of my life. At the time, I saw it as the kind of call that one gets randomly gets from a friend at any hour of the day.
“How are you doing? Things going ok?”
“I am fine. I attended a graduation yesterday. It was a celebration of a hard work, great progress, and hope.”
“That is good news! It is nice to mark the milestone.”
“Absolutely. I wish you could have been there.”
“That would have been fun.”
“I have been thinking about the challenges we are wrestling with. There are a lot of changing in the normal indicators we use to measure progress. Have you considered the following?”
What followed were a series of questions that he was wrestling with in his life. He wondered if I had thought about them. He was curious. Did they make sense? Did I recognize them? What did I think?
Today I was rereading an old story. In the middle of it, “without warning, [there was] a huge earthquake! The jailhouse tottered, every door flew open, all the prisoners were loose.” (Acts 16.26) It would be natural to assume that these events drove a turning point or two. In the story, they did not. There was a turning point, but not the one I imagined.
The questions I heard in a casual conversation with a friend have become a turning point in my thinking. I see things differently because of his questions. I still do not know the answers, but I do sense a clear direction where there has not been one before.