One Moment Changes Everything

When I was in high school, my friends and I decided to buy a one pound block of pure sodium off Ebay. Why would we do that, you ask? Well if you remember back to your high school chemistry class, you’ll recall that sodium (and any of the other alkali metals) are extremely reactive…with water.

Reactive enough to explode.

The fateful night came two weeks before graduation. There were ten of us, all high school boys, giddy about the possibility of witnessing what we built up in our minds to be the event of our senior year.

The location was set: the edge of a small pond in a suburban neighborhood where we went to high school…smart choice I know. As we readied the video camera to capture this moment (this is prior to cell phone video), I saw what seemed like in slow motion a one pound block of white chalk come careening into the water. It hit the surface with a big SPLASH….but no explosion…no loud noises, no flashes of light and fire.

Talk about disappointment.

About five seconds elapsed, and we turned around with dejected looks on our faces. What a waste of $89.50 on Ebay.

And then…I heard the loudest explosion of my life!

As I and the rest of my accomplices turned back, I saw a bright flash of red come shooting out of the water. That’s all I remember, because we all scattered. We ran, we hid, we got in our cars and sped away, knowing that we were all now on some government watch list. But that was an adrenaline rush like I had never felt before. It was riveting and scary. And it all started with a flash, a bright outburst of light that lit up the night sky.

That was a mile-marking moment in my high school journey—a moment my mind will forever flash back to. It reminds me that life really can change in a flash. We have all experienced that flash in our lives, haven’t we?

There are those moments, sometimes great moments, sometimes tragic ones that mark our lives.

I am sure as you read those words, your mind flashes back to moments in your own life, whether they are exciting or painful. Like the joy of the moment you said “I do” at a wedding or the pain of the moment you said “Goodbye” at a funeral. Our lives are full of those moments, where in a flash, they change.

As you reflect on the flash moments in your own journey, I’d encourage you think of them not just as the end of something but equally the beginning of a new reality.

In fact, that’s the amazing character of our God. He is the master of making all things new. He is the God who can take tragedy and turn it into hope, which is even more riveting than witnessing a block of pure sodium light up the night sky.

Disclaimer: Do not try to relive my high school mischief. This was a silly prank that could have resulted in one of us getting seriously hurt. Although, it does now serve as a fun illustration some ten years later.

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