My favorite annual sporting event has to be March Madness. Although it pales in comparison to the World Cup and the Olympics, it is by far my favorite out of all the annual championships. It’s full of upsets, inspiration, and excitement (especially this year since you can win $1 billion!). Through the years nothing has pumped me up more for March Madness than “One Shining Moment” sung by the one and only, Luther Vandross. Just watch the video above. How can you not be motivated?
I think it’s natural for every single one of us to want to have a shining moment of our own – to have a moment where everything just comes together. We might be the underdog, yet we’re able to come through in the clutch and overcome our challenges. However, what I’ve experienced in life is that the moments where we shine on the big stage are rare. Yet each day we are faced with small decisions to be faithful, to do what’s right, and just be the person God has intended us to be. I’d like to think while shining moments are few and far in between, defining moments are there every single day.
Defining moments are those times that truly shape who we are and define who we will become. It’s usually those moments when we are alone and are away from the limelight. It has been said that character is who you are when no one is looking. Every day, there are plenty of opportunities for us to be discouraged, disheartened, and even distressed. We can be brought low by our circumstances, or we can choose to go low in worship. The greatest moments of worship in my life have been when I was on my own in the midst of the storms of life, and I chose to worship God anyways – not because I felt like it, but because I knew He was bigger and greater than any storm I could face. Each moment of doubt is an opportunity to choose to believe. Every temptation is an opportunity to choose to do what’s right. In essence, they are defining moments.
I can be honest and say that especially recently, there are times that are both discouraging and overwhelming. But by God’s mercy I was reminded of what it’s all about, which is Him! I can let myself be bogged down by what is seen or by what I believe God is doing in the unseen. That He is always with me, always for me, and always working things for my good. If that’s the case, then I can truly turn disappointments into sacrifices of praise unto Him. It truly is about the heart and who you are before Him. To do what no one notices, to do what no one even applauds, but to do them because it blesses the heart of God. The truth is if serving is beneath you, then leading is above you. If you are too big for the broom, then you are too small for the microphone. If you can’t worship God in the valley, you won’t worship Him on the mountaintop.
That’s why every desert season, every dry valley, and every dark dungeon is used to define us. I can let things dismantle me or define me. I am thankful for small beginnings, hardships, trials, and disappointments because it makes me humble. It makes me dependent. Ultimately because they are defining moments that I can partner with God to allow Him to shape me into who He desires me to be. In the end so that when that time to shine comes, I will be able to come through. Not to shine my own light or for my own glory, but to shine bright what He has put within me in those defining moments for His glory and glory alone!
Wherever you are today, know that God is shaping you for His glory. Embrace the defining moments. Be of good heart and encouraged for you are loved and not alone!