Genesis Day 47: Defining Moments

Genesis Day 47: Defining Moments

Genesis 28

Most days, most of us go through the regular motions of life. We wake up, follow our routines, and press on.

There are some folks who “pop out of bed” full of enthusiasm to start to the day. Others are… less enthusiastic, albeit still hard-working. By my writing, I expect you can tell I am not one of those “pop out of bed” people. (And if my “pop out of bed” comment seems to have a bit of attitude, I’m sorry about that.)

While most days, most of us, go through the good but sometimes predictable days of our lives, it is also true that most of us have had major defining moments.


It was a hot summer day. We were doing “two-a-days”—football practice in the early morning and late evening to avoid the heat. After banging into a blocking “sled” with other guys, Coach Romo (short for Romanowski) stopped the drill, got our attention, and held up a football. He said, “Men, this here is a football,” (we already knew that) “and I don’t care what you do—you can’t bake, boil, or barbecue it—so I expect you to study and I will know all your grades. Now, let’s line up and hit the sled, and this time, hit it for real.” His point was not lost on us—football is not our future. He wasn’t trying to demotivate us—he was simply working to dispel any delusions we might have about life.

That moment is probably not terribly inspirational to you. Let me ask you a question. Why do I remember it over four decades later? Because a coach I had great respect for, and who believed in me, made sure this “thing called football” that I was crazy committed to, was kept in perspective.

I have a bunch of these moments. We all do. Some are huge, life-altering events. Some of those events are full of joy and some are full of pain. Regardless, we have them.

Let’s just be clear. We do not create them. No, God provides them.

We have been reading about them in Genesis. I am thinking, as you have been reading Genesis with me, that we could list of bunch of these moments for Abraham. There is God telling him to leave his home, God promising to make him a great nation (several times), God telling him that he would have a son late in life, the whole circumcision thing… the list goes on.

Yet, if we put those on the timeline of Abraham’s life, we would observe long periods of time without these BIG events. We would observe Abraham waking up each day, like most people, going about his business.

Today we read of a defining moment, perhaps the moment, in Jacob's life. Picture yourself seeing the Lord (v.13). Imagine Jacob’s timeline.

For me, the defining moment in my life remains the moment when I realized what Jesus did for me on the Cross. I come back to it. When I recall it, He inspires me, humbles me, encourages me—it is a moment that provides for infinite reflection and response.

Our defining moments are hugely important. Do you know some of yours?

Consider a simple exercise—on a piece of paper, draw a horizontal line. Consider the line as representing the years of your life. Next, above and below the line, you’re going to plot the four high and the four lows of your life. Mark each one in the relative location where the event occurred in time. Make the highest really high up on the paper. Then reflect on them. Pray for God to reveal what He wants you to learn from them.

I encourage you to hold onto those lessons, to apply those lessons to build your faith—so that in the end all of us become people of Hope. (Romans 5:2-5).

Can you see God in your defining moments? What do you think He was/is trying to accomplish in and through you? What do you think He wants you to learn?

Genesis Day 48: God’s Best-laid Plans…and Us

Genesis Day 48: God’s Best-laid Plans…and Us

Genesis Day 46: The Bible doesn’t sugarcoat life and the knuckleheads that fill it

Genesis Day 46: The Bible doesn’t sugarcoat life and the knuckleheads that fill it