Several years ago at one of my annual fall NJWPT Writing Retreats, Joyce Armstrong Carroll shared a book written by Squire Rushnell by the name of When God Winks. This delightful little book was a collection of stories about people who had their lives changed by just one moment in time…what Rushnell called a “God Wink”… and being in that right place at just the right time for the right reason a difference was made in the life or lives of people.
Dr. Eric Cupp ended the day yesterday with what he called “moments”. I immediately thought of Rushnell’s book and how Dr. Cupp’s “moments” were very similar to “God Winks”.
Dr. Cupp told us that our lives are defined by “moments”. We should make it a habit to capture these “moments” and keep them coming in our lives. We are always in “the moment” and we need to recognize them, define them and keep them coming to be able to define them with our lives and our lives with these “moments”.
He told us story after story about how “moments” made a difference and how they wrote yet another chapter in a person’s book of life. The entire room was alternately laughing one minute and crying the next as his stories tugged at our hearts.
The thing about “moments” is that if we don’t watch carefully, we will miss the most precious of “moments” and our lives will be forever different. “Moments” cause ripples in life as we build relationships in life. “Moments” keep these ripples going just like throwing a huge rock into water causes ripples that begin small and spread until they cover the entire surface of the water.
An example Rushnell used as a “God Wink” was about Steve Jobs. At one time he was fired from Apple Computer due to a difference of opinions between the Executive Board and Jobs. This caused him to not look at the firing as a rejection, but an opportunity to reinvent himself. As an inventor, he went on to invent Pixar which got the attention of Apple again…and he was rehired. Jobs tells us that had he not been fired from his own company, he never would have invented Pixar and eventually seen the creation of Toy Story with that technology. In that “moment” of firing, Jobs could have given up, but being a visionary, he chose to reinvent himself and develop something that has revolutionized animated film and movies.
As individuals, we need to follow the compass of our lives…always, going in the direction that will lead us to “moment after moment” of joy and happiness. The opposite is following a clock … never really getting anywhere except a repeat of the previous 24 hours. Once we allow the compass to take over and lead us in the right direction, this is when we will have “moments” to write chapters in our life that create a “fat” book!
At this point in my life, I know there have been many “moments”. In hindsight, I wish I had thought to keep track of these “moments” in writing, thus creating my personal “fat” book. One “moment” that is vivid to me was getting to talk alone, uninterrupted with Kate DiCamillo. Kate had been our featured speaker and author at the NJWPT Spring conference that year. Because of Winn Dixie had just been published and Tiger Rising was about to be released. It was Sunday morning and I left the closing session for the lobby in search of bottled water. There she was all alone in the middle of this enormous hotel lobby. I took charge of the “moment” and walked over to her. After introducing myself and telling her how much I enjoyed her session as well as Because of Winn Dixie, we just chatted. She was waiting for the airport shuttle to arrive so she could be on her way home to Minneapolis. This was a treasured “moment” for me. No one saw us standing there talking, and to this day, I never told anyone this story. But in that “moment”, I realized that those author’s and wonderful writers who hold us in awe, are just like us. They enjoy standing talking about a shared “moment” and meeting new people as they go along their way in life. I don’t remember much of our conversation, but I do remember commenting on what she told a coworker before Because of Winn Dixie was published. Kate drove a forklift in a book warehouse to support her writing habit. She told her friend that one day soon he would be driving the forklift moving boxes of her book in that same warehouse…and he did. That was a priceless statement and we both had a good laugh talking about what she had said to him and that her prediction came true in spades!
Go out in the world, let the compass of your life be your guide to all the wonderful “moments'” yet to be found.
Always I wish you peace, joy and happiness, but most of all I wish you LOVE.
As Ever, Annie
First published January 30, 2013