There are moments in your life that become life defining moments.    Slices of life that try your character and offer God an opportunity to see what you are made of on the inside.   These moments also allow the tested to look at their reflection in the mirror.   Life defining moments are powerful and have the possibility to change your life.  


It does not happen everyday, but when it does---you know it---and you never forget it.  That is why it is called a life defining moment.  You might think a moment like that would be the fruit of some climatic event.  Yet, these moments often come by the way of  normal life events---something simple. . . ordinary.  Moments like the birth of a child, the death of a close friend, the bang of a car accident, a trip to the doctor, a unsuspected rainbow, an expression of a child, or a near death experience can, in a second, change your life forever and bring you face to face with the wisdom of Almighty God.


I had one of these moments this week.  My sweet, little, 7 year-old Garrett has been having trouble with some medication and was admitted to a hospital in Wheeling, WV to be monitored by Doctors so they can regulate/change his medication.    That 60 minute trip seems like it takes hours.   Limited visitation and a 5 minute phone call a day extends the distance.   


Leaving. . .that was my defining moment.   I delivered him in the hands of people I hope would care for him.   Actually, they are strangers, I had just met them for the first time.   I desired not to go, but knowing for this moment it is the best thing to do.  I had to leave.


As a father everything in me ached.  I fought back tears as I embraced and kissed him and said good-bye; I tried to be strong.  I’m not sure I was convincing.   As I walked down the hall and rode the elevator to the parking garage my stomach was turning flips.  The closer I got to my automobile in the bitter air, the darker my world became.   Tears burned as they poured down my cold cheeks.    I climbed into my car and I sobbed.   My prayer was garbled because of my weeping---God knew my broken heart and His Spirit put together all the pieces.  


I was leaving my son in a place where, even though they were strangers, their reputation proved to be a safe environment of a host of people that committed their lives to make my son’s life better.   With time I knew he would be able to maneuver through life with a compass of medication that would steer him to make appropriate decisions.    But I sat in my car bawling uncontrollably. 


How could He do it?  How could my God---leave His Son---in the hands of a group of people that He very well knew would join forces to make Him suffer and eventually die?   How?   How could he willingly do such a thing?  


My defining moment settled when I got a clear glimpse of how much God loved me.  In that moment I again was made aware how much I loved my Garrett, as well as my Taylor, my Ryan, and my Isaiah.   I also realized in that defining moment how much I loved my God.  


Then the mirror revealed my reflection; the reflection was not good.    I concluded:  God loves me more that I love Him.   It sounds cliché doesn’t it?   You are probably saying, “Duh, Preacher.   Didn’t you already know that?”  Yes, but this moment allowed me to relate in a personal way.    God gave His Son. . .God gave His Son.  He left Him with us.  Our sin made Him suffer, and He died at our hands.   Here I was leaving my Son in a place where I knew he would be cared for with the expectation and hope that he would come out better.   God gave His Son knowing Jesus would die, but we would come out better.   Wow!   God loves me so much!


I often wonder how I could forget, but I do.  Something so earth shattering ---such a giant event that it etches its memory in the crevices of your brain, yet in a moment the memory fades in the waves of appointments, chores and details of life.  That is why He did it. 


Lounging with is disciples he took natural substances on the table and gave them lasting significance.   With an insatiable passion in His voice he tells those He loves to take of His body and blood, to remember  what He was about to do for them.  Through the eyes of faith I weekly sit at that table taking in the sounds of hushing disciples as the Master begins to speak; the smells of fresh bread and grape juice quicken the senses as He tells them to eat the body and the drink the blood.  That is why he did it---so I will not forget that climatic moment in history.


Never forget God’s amazing love for you.   That knowledge will change your world and will be a defining moment in your life.