Defining Moments (Part Two)

Defining Moments (Part One)

In this day and age some people’s ‘moments’ may take place even before they even take their first breath. With the pollution, toxins, and addictions that have overtaken the land, could it be possible that a child’s life has been shaped in the womb? Today there are babies that are born already addicted to the drugs of this world. Though these are no defining moments of no choice, just as genetic moments of definition come into play in our lives, these cannot be discounted as superficial or without merit. Though I am unsure nor do I remember anything from my own mother’s womb, I am sure there were a few of those moments that have affected me to this day.

There are not many moments in my life that I can remember before the age of two. Born in New York City in the boroughs of Queen and then moving to Colorado Springs, Colorado, my ‘recall’ of any such moments at this age in my life are only from the words of those who are able to tell the stories. Whether they are actually still residing in my mind or just repressed I do not know, but they are there and are still affecting my life right now. Though I don’t remember this moment for myself, in my own life, I know that my parents’ divorce was a deep and defining moment in my life. Although just a baby, there is no doubt that this separation of my parents helped to define who I was too become and who I am now. Many go through life not realizing how family ‘moments’ like these actually help to define who they are. They search their whole lives looking outside of themselves to solve the broken riddles of their lives when in reality all they need to do is examine their own lineage and upbringing. For me, such a moment occurred when I was five years old…standing in the kitchen hearing that the man my mother was with was not really my father at all, but he was my stepdad and the man that was coming to ‘visit’ me the next day was my real father. I remember crying and not really understanding what was going on, but it is obvious to me, the fact that I am writing about right now, over forty years later, tells me that it impacted my life from that point on. To grow up in a home and feel that kind of separation and division within your own family is not only confusing but painful. The mental torment was overwhelming at times…especially when a child is born from the new marriage, which then leaves you (and your brother) out of the family because of the natural bond at the birth of a child.

In these perilous times, those that are born within a broken home life in an inner psychological torment that never leaves them. When your heroes fail, there’s not too many other faces or places to turn too. Your life revolves around those broken pieces. Some end up living a life of unfruitful frustrations, desperately trying to put the pieces back together again. Full of anger, resentment, and guilt, they try to undo the defining moment’s of those around them, not knowing they are allowing their lives to be shaped by other people’s defining moments and not their own. Obviously, no man liveth to himself and no man dieth to himself. All of us influence and are influenced by others, yet some choose to (yes it’s a choice!) to let those around them define who they are and what their lives are all about. These are those truly defining moments. Moments that forever shape your life and mold your being and affections. To me, though easily shrugged off by others, my parent’s divorce affected me deeply and still impacts me now.

Today I can look back and ’see’ it’s shaping effect upon my life. To hang with my friends and hear them call their father’s ’dad’ when I couldn’t go home and do the same affected me. To know that the man that my mother was married to was not my father and my real father was out ’there’ somewhere never left my mind. Now looking back, all of my actions were infused and framed within this moment.

Though my step-father was a decent man and took care of us, there is nothing that compares to the love that one feel’s when you conceive your own child. And this was definitely felt when my sister was born to the new marriage. All love…if any…was to be shown in our family went to her. Back then, as a young boy, I could not understand the connection. But today, now that I have experienced the love that prevails and overcomes your spirit at the birth of your own child, I can now understand the ’whys’ and no longer frustrated. Therefore, a moment in my life that was created by someone else no longer has any more control over my life, because I understand the ’why’. When one is no longer confined behind the bars of ’I am a victim’ prison, then the possibility of true growth can be obtained. We are the choosers of our destiny…these moments come and go…but it’s what we do with them that counts. Stepping stones or stumbling blocks. Victims or victors. Welfare or wealthy. They either weigh you down or stimulate a desire to rise above them.

Today, rather than wallowing in the despair of divorce and it impacts upon my frail psyche as a child, I can now see the blessing that it brought to me in its entirety. From the emotional instability of these broken pieces came a deep desire within me to truly find out ‘what life is all about’. From a young age, I began searching. Yes, it may have been in all the wrong places, and in all the wrong faces, but there was a yearning in me to know the truth about life and it’s meaning. Though this yearning took me on a far journey, it allowed me an opportunity, if you will, to seek things out for myself. The rejection of my upbringing, though rebellious in nature, was a blessing in the long run. For I developed an attitude to seek things out for myself. To question the status quo and look for the deeper answers. The Greek philosophers of old said, “Reality hides behind appearances” and I refused to accept things at face value. It breeds within me a desire to know…so I read, I wrote stories, kept a journal, wrote poetry, took philosophy classes, and traveled abroad…in search of these all elusive answers to the truth of life. Instead of being a recluse, too my life was about living each moment as fully as one possibly could…with gusto, I would live it and with all I had, and in this, I would find out the truth. When I think about it, this attitude was birthed within me because of that one defining moment that I had no control over.

Now looking back, it is truly a wonder to see how God orchestrates a man’s steps if he is truly seeking an answer. Though in my mind, I rejected anything that had to do with religion or God, I was seeking Him and I didn’t know it. God’s longsuffering was wrapped in mercy as He waited for the end of my dabbling in the transgressions of this world. Worn out from chasing the empty promises of my carnal senses, God saw me. Though my searchings could easily be placed into a category called stupid or absurd, God waited for me. Though I despised those who claimed to know Him and religions that mocked Him, God knew my heart. He knew that the gospel would one day be delivered to my heart by a God called preacher, by a man sent of Him. And once I entered His sanctuary of praise, heard the gospel truth of my salvation, He knew I would not reject it because my searching’s had brought me to the end of the road. A long road of abrupt stops and painful harvests of wrong choices. But He was always there, drawing me ever so closer to His will, His ways, and His light. Step by step, choice by choice, the ironic thing is the defining moment of a painful divorce ultimately led me to a defining moment at an altar where I met the Master of all moments and the God of the spirits of all flesh. It was here, at a literal altar of repentance that the God of the universe encamped upon the tables of my heart. As the one hundred and twenty basked in the defining moment of Pentecost, I too, stepped into the eluded questions of my life and fell into the answering embrace of His mercy. Oh, what a moment! What a defining moment! Though my soul longed for answers, my rest came when my soul found Him who it had longed for. Oh, what a moment! What an eternally defining moment!


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