Maybe One Moment Matters
I remember saying to my Dad that I always felt like I walked into situations just as they were getting hard.
I was 13 and felt like I always became friends with someone just before they got some really hard news or something painful happened in their life. I felt like I always walked into situations and relationships just before they got complicated or difficult, and I was worried I was cursed, bringing trouble on the people in my life.
I’ve never forgotten what my Dad said to me:
“That’s because you’re a peacemaker. God has given you the gift of being able to comfort people and bring peace even when things are hard. Jesus said, ‘Blessed are the peacemakers,’ (Matthew 5:9) so it’s a good gift to have. But it's also a hard gift to have - you’ll always have to work to have your own peace so that you can bring it with you no matter what situation you walk into.”
I’ve never forgotten that moment with my Dad, those wise words he spoke over me, because I’ve never stopped walking into complicated situations and relationships. I’ve never stopped being a peacemaker.
Don’t get me wrong, there have been plenty of times when I haven’t had my own peace, so I haven’t brought it into hard situations. I’ve made bad situations worse just like everyone does. But I’ve never stopped being a peacemaker. I haven’t always taken good care of my peacemaking abilities, but I’ve never stopped having that gift from God built into who I am. Any time I’ve felt my own peace slipping, I think back to that moment and am reminded by the memory of my Dad’s words that I am a peacemaker, so it is my duty and privilege to maintain peace in my own life and share it with others.
When I’m maintaining that peace well and find myself in a difficult situation of my own or holding the hand of a friend, my Dad’s voice rings through my mind, “You’re a peacemaker… it’s a good gift to have.” That one moment with my Dad is burned into my memories and the depths of my soul forever, always there to remind me that this gift is just that, a gift. When I’m fighting for peace or when I find myself in yet another painful situation, I’m encouraged by those simple words from my Dad, “That’s because you’re a peacemaker.”
In the moment, I’m not sure my Dad realized just how much those words would mean to me for the rest of my life. I don’t think he realized he was shifting my thinking from, “I always bring trouble” to “I get to bring comfort.” That conversation took place over twelve years ago and I still think of it regularly. In the moment, I had no idea just how big of an impact my Dad’s words were having and neither did he. But here we are, all these years later, and those words are still speaking life and purpose over me. That one moment mattered.
Do you have a memory like this? A conversation, an event, a moment that changed you more than you could have realized. I think we all do if we really think about it. We can create these moments in the lives of other’s if we’re paying attention to the people around us and the nudges God gives us.
This moment with my Dad wasn’t some big dramatic conversation; it was just a daughter talking to her Dad about something that worried her. So many moments with friends who have said things that changed my life or when I’ve known I needed to give them some encouragement have been when we were just having a conversation, talking about life.
It can be so easy to assume that moments of significance need to be big, bold and clear. But it’s often the simple moments that end up making the best memories.
It’s conversations with people who truly know us and can speak life into us that stand out in our memories. It is often less about the Sunday sermon and more about the Tuesday coffee when we think of the words that have changed and inspired us. It’s the friend who says, ‘you can do this.’ It’s the sister who says, ‘I know, me too.’ It’s the spouse who knows how exhausted you are and says, ‘I can see how it is paying off.’ It’s the parent who says, ‘I see this gift in you that you don’t see in yourself.’
Life isn’t always about the big shiny moments, it’s about the seemingly mundane that becomes the most meaningful. It’s about listening to the people we love and telling them the truth. It’s about investing in authentic relationships. It’s about being honest with the people in our lives about the hard and scary things. It’s about showing love and acceptance to everyone around us. Maybe life isn’t about the dramatic so much as it is about reality. Maybe the life-changing moments are the ones where the people who know us say the things that matter.
God is working in our conversations and words when we pay attention. Maybe, just maybe, that one moment matters.