Friday Five, RevGalBlogPals

Friday Five: The A-Ha Moments

As posted by kathrynzj at RevGalBlogPals:

This past holiday season is not one I will soon forget, but not for the reason some may think. Certainly, it was a busy one for those involved in the life of the church. The 1-2 punch of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day on a Sunday brought more than a few of us to our knees (or hopefully to a more comfortable napping position).

In the midst of the holiday season I had one of those moments where a path suddenly was made clear – A-ha! This experience has prompted me to wonder what some of your A-ha moments may be.

They can be mundane – a realization that you like/don’t like a certain food or that you really look good in that color you never had the guts to try. They can be sacred – a way to better pace your day clicks into place or finally a devotion or meditation practice that really works for you. They can be profound – the moment you realized he/she was the one (or wasn’t)or the moment you realized where your deepest passion could meet the world’s greatest need.

Please tell us – what are five (more or less) of your ‘A-ha’ moments. Where have you had a moment of clarity?

1) Here’s a childhood moment, and it is vivid. We were visiting Aunt Peggy, not a real aunt, but my mother’s best friend from childhood, at her family’s summer home in the Berkshires. One of the traditional activities during a visit there was making and eating brownies, and I must have been four or five when I bit into one and realized it was full of nuts, which I slipped under the big trestle table in her kitchen (this is how I know I was little), picked out the nuts and “stored” them on one of the trestles. Later, I got in trouble. And I still don’t like nuts in brownies.

2) During a period of great anxiety, a mentor and guide who is an Episcopalian suggested praying Compline. I grew up Baptist, and I never pray from a book, but I decided to give it a try. After several weeks of faithfully praying Compline, or excerpts I typed into the Notes app on my phone, I realized I felt closer to God, less alone with a situation that had worried me, and generally more rested. I took a break from the practice while on vacation over Christmas, but I’m glad to have it on my list of prayer resources.

3) My second son had a big birthday in October, but it was only last week that I really did the math and had the “A-Ha” — both my sons are adults now.

4) I was in my late 20s when I got a Christmas card from a college friend that contained a big hint to the truth of his life and his sexual orientation. He wasn’t my first gay or lesbian friend, but he was the first one who, like me, had grown up Southern Baptist and serious about the kind of virtue and piety we had been encouraged to live. What was different for me is that I finally “got” that orientation wasn’t just about sexual preference. My A-Ha was a realization that just as I hoped for love in my life, a true and intimate connection of the heart, my friend ought to be able to hope for that as well. The package the person came in should not matter.

5) On a hot, beautiful day, when I thought someone might feel something, and it might need mentioning, I realized I felt the same thing myself and ended up being the one making the confession rather than simply prompting one. Blessedly, this A-Ha turned out to be mutual.

11 thoughts on “Friday Five: The A-Ha Moments”

  1. Count me in that group of not liking nuts in brownies (or cookies)! I also had a similar experience related to the first person in my life who opened up about being lesbian. Prior to that I had wondered how I would react when I learned that someone I knew was gay, and discovered on that occasion, "oh, okay." No drama, as I believe there is no reason to be around the matter of sexual orientation.

  2. I love nuts in stuff, but not raisins *shudders*and I share my gratitude with yours for Compline when it comes to laying down the worry each night.

  3. Sometimes, praying from a book feels sterile. Other times, it's nice to have a relationship with God that is not entirely wrapped up in my emotions or how I might be feeling on any given day (good or bad!). I love Compline.

  4. ha! i have hidden so many things in that spot under the table. Unfortunately, my aunt had done the same before me, so….yeah. Trouble with a capital T. but nuts in brownies are gross.Thanks for sharing your stories!

  5. I'm a bit nutty, so I'd have been happy to eat those nuts for you. One summer I went home to Chattanooga from Atlanta, where I was in seminary. When I returned and saw my hairdresser again, I knew he had AIDS and was probably dying. It was the 1980s, when people were still not sure whether touching was safe. But I walked straight into him for a hug. He had never said he was gay, though I suspected. I hope it helped him to know he didn't lose this customer-friend. The lightbulb moment was knowing what I would do when confronted by someone with advanced AIDS. Now I know.

  6. I used to think (when I was 5) that throwing food under the table would make it disappear. We did not have a dog. This trick will work for my kid, since there's always a Lab around for him.

  7. I hated the carrot sticks my mother alway wanted us to eat; I would take mine before dinner on the guise of just getting it over with, and then I hid them all over the place–including once under my mattress. I was never confronted about that, surprisingly. Love #5!

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