As I follow the unfolding stories of friends, I am reminded that a singular moment rarely defines you with God. There are moments when one might believe “this is the defining moment of my life”. However bad one moment or two might be, time has a way of giving you (and me) an opportunity to write more into the story. Life never stops. Our time in it may be finite, however within the beginning and the end, there are and will be opportunities to change the script, rewrite the dialogue, and impact that greater story.
The reminder came recently as I watched a friend struggle with an overwhelming tragedy. It was not that long ago that a different tragedy overwhelmed his life and mine. We struggled to get through it, uncertain of where the events were leading us. In context of today, yesterday seems like a small bump in the road. I know it was big at the time! The overwhelming emotions and uncertainty then brought us to a cliff. What was next was dangerous and dark. In hindsight, it was in comparison to now, a stroll in a park.
I am reminded of the crisis moments in my life, when the idea that future opportunities do not exist is vividly real. I watch and find renewed hope through our struggles. I can hear the Harley slogan repeating within me – “the opposite side of fear is courage”. It is in courage that hope is alive. It is in courage that the refusal to yield becomes the will to make a difference.
I have repeatedly witnessed a scene that follows this choice. A mystery becomes real as “down-and-outers sit at God’s table and eat their fill. Everyone on the hunt for God is here, praising him. “Live it up, from head to toe. Don’t ever quit!”” (Psalm 22.26) There are no have or have not. Everyone is here, having reached beyond to accept a divine invitation. It is always open to all – still, the reality of seeing God’s kids getting together as equals fills me with awe.