The Beauty of Sacred Moments
We all have moments in life that shape us, move us and mark our soul with something that will never be forgotten. These times, whether good or bad, are moments that help mold us and define who we are and what we do and why we do it.
For example, good moments for me have been:
When I walked down the aisle of a youth camp and became a follower of Jesus.
When I married Necole. (Side note: how did that happen?)
The birth of my two daughters.
When the Celtics beat the Lakers in the NBA finals in 2008.
Of course, I have had bad moments, too:
My mother died of cancer.
My brother in law was killed in a motorcycle accident.
My father in law lost his battle with cancer last year.
When the Lakers beat the Celtics in the 2009 NBA finals.
My Sacred Moment
In 2007, I had one of those moments when I met an unknown orphan in the middle of the night, at an abandoned gas station in Harare, Zimbabwe. A simple encounter with a starving, abandoned child changed my life forever.
Last week as I flew from Uganda to Zimbabwe, I had another moment, but instead of happening in a dark, nearly abandoned structure, it happened on a crowded airplane.
I started to cry uncontrollably.
I had no clue what to do. I kept changing the music in my headphones, I used up all my tissues– I even put a blanket over my head so my poor seat mate would not think something was wrong.
But, these tears were tears of joy. Never in a million years would I have thought that God would use a country like Zimbabwe, an unknown orphan and leader like John to shape my life, vocation and calling.
After I met that starving orphan, a switch clicked in my life and my purpose became crystal clear. I was able to focus all my energy and efforts into one passion and I’ve had a simple determination to do whatever it takes to see extreme global poverty come to an end. I really can’t explain it. It was definitely a “burning bush” experience for me.
Anyway, after receiving a few furtive stares from my fellow travelers, it dawned on me. I was in tears because I was going back to that gas station where the encounter took place for the first time in five years. That gas station is a sacred place for me.
I was nervous; thousands of images were going through my mind. I was reliving the moment when I met the young child. I could see his eyes staring into my soul. I could hear his voice echo deep into my spirit, as if it was actually God asking me to do something, make an impact, stop ignoring the global orphan crisis and obey the call to care for the fatherless and the poor.
This is why we need Sacred Moments
1) We all need a few moments that change us; they can be big or small. These moments create our belief in the “why” we do what we do. These are sacred, life changing moments that shift who we are and how we live. And these moments almost always occur when we are doing activities outside of our comfort zone.
2) We need to revisit those sacred moments over time. They are priceless. They are fuel that tends to drive us when we want to give up. When we revisit sacred moments, it reminds us that all the sacrifice is worth it, that we are a part of a larger story and that our lives are interconnected with others and with the Spirit. Take time to pause, revisit and reflect. These moments help us regain clarity and focus.
3) That sacred moment is not meant for you alone. You are called to share it. I’ve been able to share my sacred moment thousands of times over the years. It’s no longer my moment, but our moment.
Movements are created by sacred moments that are then given away. (tweet that) When you give away the moment to a community of people, the beauty of accountability begins to take place. I now have a shared responsibility to end extreme poverty with my staff, board, donors, our local leaders and the Help One Now tribe. It’s no longer my story, but our story. We all have our own personal sacred moments and places.
How to move Forward
What does this mean for you? I’m not sure. I do know that we all need these sacred moments. When you have that moment, it will propel you to create great art that can be used to shape the world. If you have had such a moment, let me encourage you to pause and revisit that moment. If you are still waiting for a sacred moment, let me encourage you to be active and live life to the fullest. Seek new experiences, learn from new people, be open to new possibilities, move outside of your comfort zone — do something that scares you. (tweet that)
The book that will be written, the song that will be sung, the business that gets launched, the church that is pioneered, the story that is told — they almost always have that sacred moment that is etched in eternity and drives the vision forward, overcomes obstacles and gives birth to a new work.
I know one thing: I’m thankful for that sacred moment in Zimbabwe.