Last April I read that Winston Churchill said, “…to every man [and woman] there comes… that special moment when [they are] figuratively tapped on the shoulder and offered the chance to do a special thing unique to [them]… what a tragedy if that moment finds [them] unprepared or unqualified for [that]which [could have been their] finest hour.”
It hit me that I had an opportunity to let 2009 be my finest hour. It was a critical time. I believed my life and the lives of my children, then and forever, hung in the balance. As daunting as it seemed, I had to make 2009 my finest hour for the sake of my children.
I didn’t know what the future held, but I had faith enough to KNOW there would be one.
I believe these moments, to one degree or another, come to each of us. And it is what we do with them that makes all of the difference. Finest hour or failure.
This was reinforced to me during my service as president of the women’s organization of my church congregation. One day a new woman joined our group. I made an appointment to visit her in her home to officially welcome her to the area. When I arrived at her apartment, I discovered she lived there with four other adults and sublet a bedroom in the apartment. As we sat on her bed and talked, I looked out the window and noticed snowflakes beginning to fall. At the same time, I glanced into her open closet door and saw only one pair of flip flops, one pair of athletic shoes, one skirt, and one shirt hanging on the rod. No other clothing. Not even a coat. (Remember, I lived in Colorado.)
When I asked about her situation she told me she didn’t have a coat, didn’t have shoes other than the two pair I saw, didn’t have food to eat and she didn’t have a job. I arranged to take her shopping for a coat and through our pastor provided her with some groceries.
As I drove her to the store, she told me more of her life story: her dad died when she was a teenager, her family lost their finances, she was raised by a single mother, she had had health challenges…and she attributed all of her experiences as the cause of her current situation.
In that moment I was struck with a powerful realization. She and I had experienced many of the same life challenges. Yet while her experiences had changed her life in very difficult ways, I had been taught to rise above the challenges, to turn my stumbling blocks into stepping stones, to continue to live and achieve, and to attempt to utilize my adversity to make myself better than I would otherwise have been. (More wise words from my mom.)
What a blessing to have been taught, and to instinctively realize, we each are blessed with moments that can be our finest hour. It is all in what we do with them.
I believe that now more than ever. I hope my actions and attitude as I carry on, continue to live, and rebuild my life one day reveal my finest hour.
And it caused me to ponder: What if everyone, in moments of heartache and seemingly insurmountable challenges, chose the path that would lead to their finest hour?
Imagine the legacy we would leave our children and those who come after us if we did.