The moments that shape our lives are much more likely to be small and personal instead of huge national or international occurrences.  Often we may not even notice that a turning point has taken place in our lives until sometime after the event.  


A defining moment opens our eyes to new possibilities, and our lives may never be the same after that.  In a BBC World Service series, Desmond Tutu was once asked about the defining moments in his life. 


Tutu passed away this week.  He served as the Archbishop of Cape Town and was one of the key leaders in the fight to rid South Africa of apartheid.  He chaired the country's Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which sought to heal the scars of apartheid.  He was a Nobel peace laureate.


Tutu recounts that the biggest defining moment in his life took place when he was nine or so.  He saw a tall, white priest smile at and doff his hat to his mother who was a domestic worker.  He said that it blew his mind that a white man would do that when in the days of strict apartheid whites refused to respect the black populace. 


Tutu asked his mother: “Who was that man?”  His mother responded:  “He’s the priest at the Anglican church.”  Tutu decided then and there, that’s what he must do with his life.


In the year ahead, I hope every one of us will be open to the possibility that if we genuinely love and care for people based on our faith in Jesus, God just might work through us to become part of a defining moment that will change someone’s life and maybe even change the world.  Wouldn’t that be something?