Reflecting with an old friend this morning, he asked the question: When did you change? When did everything become different?
My mind hopped around my life history looking for that one moment. When did it happen?
There was my mission when I caught fire. That fire changed me.
There was and is Nancy, so gently and totally transformative. She continues to change me in subtle ways.
There was the time when I finished Les Miserables and felt overwhelmed with a mixture of compassion and goodness. I wanted to be a better man.
There was the time when I counseled a woman with a life in shambles. As God sent a message of love for her, I realized that He loved me. I stopped resisting His love.
There was that time when everything seemed to fall apart. I realized that I couldn’t make my life what it needed to be. I turned to Him more earnestly than ever.
It is hard for me to assess how much my believing ancestors and dear parents have changed me. They are the water in which I have always swum.
There was Stephen Robinson’s book that opened my heart to new vistas of the atonement of Jesus Christ. That book continues to bless me.
Of course there are the books of scripture. What would I be without them?
There have been thousands of flashes of insight along the way. Which is the definitive experience?
After some reflection I realized that the question doesn’t fit my experience. While it is true that some transformative moments are bigger than others, I cannot find a single magical moment. All the pieces of life’s puzzle must fit together. No piece makes sense independent of its context. Even a big piece needs all the other pieces in order to fit, to make sense, to add meaning.
And the One who assembles the puzzle of our lives knows exactly when to put each piece in place.
For behold, thus saith the Lord God: I will give unto the children of men line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little; and blessed are those who hearken unto my precepts, and lend an ear unto my counsel, for they shall learn wisdom; for unto him that receiveth I will give more; and from them that shall say, We have enough, from them shall be taken away even that which they have. (2 Nephi 28:30)
Thank you, Father, for giving precisely what I needed exactly when I needed it. And for doing the same for each and every one of Your children.