Reverend Dr. William H. Curtis

In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him.

Luke 10:30-33 NIV

What you do in a defining moment of your life can make the difference to what you will do for the rest of your life. It all centers on what you do with defining moments when they are put in front of you.

We may forfeit these moments in our lives, or we may use them to open up the possibilities that God wants to release in every one of our lives. So, we need to mark our defining moments. We cannot close our eyes and walk through our lives determined to tag along for the ride. We should leave our houses searching for defining moments and discern them in every human exchange that we have.

We shouldn’t even entertain the possibility that we could go through an entire day without a defining moment being a part of it. Every day of your life, defining moments are being gifted to you by God.

In this scripture, we see the priest. His highest duty in the temple was to offer sacrifices to God on behalf of the people. He was entrusted with religious oversight of the entire nation. But on this particular day, he is going from church down to Jericho.

He sees this man who must seemingly be lifeless. He must choose: get involved and risk touching a dead man and become ceremonially unclean or do nothing. So, the priest moves to the other side of the road and determines that he is not going to let this man, dead or alive, define his life.

We shouldn’t judge the priest too quickly, though. Every one of us has to admit that risk shrinks the best of us. We let our want for safety and comfort keep us from defining moments in our lives. When God puts risk in front of us, we are prone to cross over to the other side of the road and walk past the man on the road.

When defining moments are standing before us, we accept that moments always include people. These moments are never just about us. Whatever the priest needed in Jericho or whatever his fears about cleanliness were, none of them were excuses.

When we encounter a defining moment in our lives, we must seize it, because God has put it in front of us to not only help ourselves, but to help others.