In everyone’s life there are moments which change the direction of your future. Sometimes they are under your control, sometimes they are imposed upon you by fate. The choices you make at these moments can be the turning points which decide your future.
Write about a
Yes, I know it’s Saturday not Wednesday – but I make my own rules (at least here in Blogland), so I’ll write when I want! smiles>
Pivotal moments…the idea for this prompt came to me from a book – of course. I was reading Lit, the third volume of Mary Karr’s memoir-autobiographical series (Liar’s Club, Cherry). About midway through the book, Karr, in a drunken stupor, runs her car off the road. As her vehicle spins out of control, her mind jumps to thoughts of her infant son thinking that he’ll be forced to grow up motherless, and she realizes her life is skidding as helplessly toward disaster as the four rubber tires underneath her. From that pivotal moment comes the impetus to get her life back on steady ground – to stop drinking, to pay off her debts, start writing in earnest. Find a spiritual center. And these things she does, although not without great and ongoing effort.
Rarely do pivotal moments come with such dramatic force. I did run my car off the road once, and remember feeling nothing so much as complete helplessness as it spun out of control on the embankment above the freeway. Did the experience prompt me to change my life in any way? No. But whenever I feel as if life is out of control, my heart returns to those brief moments when my life was, quite literally, out of my control, and I was whirling toward near disaster.
But most often, pivotal moments come and go and we never realize that a decision or action or chance meeting or casual word might have had a profound impact on our lives. It’s in retrospect that we can see the lasting effect of a moments encounter, in looking back over the accumulation of pivotal moments that we clearly see how they’ve woven themselves into the tapestry that becomes our life.
In the aftermath of horrible disasters, you hear stories about people who were miraculously saved because of a chance moment – a father who was late to work in the World Trade Center because he was taking a sick child to the pediatrician, a mother who missed a doomed flight because a meeting ran late, a vacation on a tsunami destroyed resort postponed because of a family crisis. Returning to Lit, at one point Karr’s AA sponsor says to her, “You should be dead by now. God saved you for something. What is your dream for your life?”
I think pivotal moments lead us toward our dreams, either purposefully or inadvertently. We just have to recognize the way they’re pointing.
How about you? Looking back, what’s a pivotal moment in your life? Certainly getting married, the birth of my first child, deaths of people I love…those are all pivotal, heart stopping, life altering moments. Other than those, the moment with the most lasting impact has to be the moment I answered a classified ad in the local paper for a pianist at an area high school. From that moment has derived nearly every important relationship I currently have (outside of my family). It led me to my church home, to a multitude of wonderful travel experiences, gave me confidence to go forward into other ventures, including my office job. It even led me to Magic and Molly! Pivotal moment, indeed.