Not every change is good. The loss of a loved one, an illness, or an accident can change things in unbelievable ways. One word - cancer - changes everything for the individual who has it and the people who love them.
But, as an eternal optimist, I like to think of all the ways life can change in very positive ways in a moment.
I love the story of one of my friends who worked at Belk. She was behind the counter, leaned over, doing something with boxes or ribbons. Unknown to her, a wonderful single man walked up to the register, saw her working and knew she was the woman for him. They were married eventually and very happy together until he passed away.
One of my son's friends recently surprised his girlfriend on top of a castle in Scotland when he went down on one knee and proposed. Needless to say, her answer was, "Yes!"
For all the singles out there, this has to be an encouraging thought. Around the next grocery store aisle, the next sales person who walks out on a car lot, the next stranger who smiles across a restaurant, or the next single visiting evangelist or singer, love may be ready to find its way into your life. I am also reminded of Crystal and Anders Eld who had no idea that his visit back to the United States from Sweden to visit his host family in the foreign exchange student program a few years earlier would bring the two of them together.
When the doctor comes smiling in to the examination room to tell a young couple that they are going to be parents their lives will never be the same. In that one moment, the whole world changes with the prospect of being parents.
When a person gets the call back from the loan officer at the bank with the message, "Your loan has been approved," for their first home, life takes on a whole new dimension. There is a sense of place, belonging and security that come with having your own home.
I can look back at the time when I held my first printed words in my hand. Little did I know that would change the direction of my life in certain ways forever. The first picture I ever took also sent me on a journey that continues to this day. The first time I ever sang a song that other people could hear, I didn't realize it would become an important part of my life for decades.
We recognize the profound moments and major events in our lives when things change on a huge scale - the engagement, marriage, children, cars, houses and jobs. Oftentimes, though, our lives change in a moment and we don't fully realize what that change will entail or just how far reaching the change will be.
When I got a job with the Harlan County Board of Education teaching at Wallins Elementary School, I couldn't imagine that I would still be there 25 years later. I couldn't comprehend all of the wonderful students and families I would meet during that time.
I have met many people along the way who became permanent fixtures in my life or opened doors of opportunity to me that I would have never had without them. In the meeting, I could not see how each one of them would affect my future.
The most far reaching and important moment in a person's life is the one when they recognize their need for a personal relationship with God and make a decision to accept Him into their life. That very second, their life is changed permanently in this time frame, but also in the scope of eternity. It is in that nanosecond of asking God to be part of our lives that we are no longer alone in the universe. From that day forward, there is always a Comforter, a Savior, a Friend, a Voice of Wisdom, a Strength that comes in to us and along beside us to walk with us through the rest of this life.
It would be great if fireworks went off or bands played for us when a life changing moment occurs. Sometimes they just come quietly, peacefully, and we don't realize the true significance of the moment until years later when we look back over changes in our lives and the people or incidents that were set in motion in a single moment.