When asked about life-changing events in our lives, we always search our memories for the big events in our lives - the births of children, the deaths of parents and grandparents, the hiring into our dream job, meeting our soulmate. These are some of the biggest events that occur in a lifetime and they are often the largest life altering events. However, some of the events that have the most impact and life-changing influences on our lives are small things.
One of the biggest life-altering events in my life was an event that in the grand scheme of things was not such a big deal. I was at work on 16 February 1998; I had to ship a VCR to a customer and as I lifted the VCR box and turned back toward the computer where I generated shipping labels, I felt a pain in my low back and the lower right side of my groin like no pain I had ever felt. In one fell swoop I had torn a hernia in my groin and collapsed the L4/5 vertebral disc. That was the last day I was able to hold a job.
Other than the night I got saved, the most defining moment of my past, in my adult life, was picking up a VCR in order to ship it out to a customer. Not much of a memorable event, in the grand scheme, but for me it was a life-altering moment.
In actuality, the most life-altering moment in each of our lives was the moment we took our last breath, the last beat of our heart. Without those things happening, we would no longer be here, but we rarely stop to think about our lungs inhaling and exhaling unless we have some ailment that hampers this ability, yet if we don't take another breath, our bodies will die in 4 to 5 minutes because there will be no more oxygen reaching our organs. And how often do you think about the times your heart contracts? We never stop to think about the fact that the last beat of our heart sent oxygen-rich blood coursing through our veins and arteries, which keeps us alive.
Just waking up from our sleep is such a monumentally life-changing event, yet it's something we take for granted. It's not a "big thing" in our lives, or so we think. Yet, without it we wouldn't have a life. Yes, I'm oversimplifying and getting extremely technical by talking about the last breath, the last heartbeat and the waking from sleep so that I can relate the fact that we overlook the most obvious and the smallest events in our lives every single day.
How many lives have been changed simply because you wore a smile through a storm? You'll likely not know the answer to that until you reach eternity and those people can thank you, personally. You may have had a day where everything was going wrong, when you were so discouraged and tempted to just give up when someone was kind enough to open a door for you, and without even realizing it, the simple gesture of someone being kind to you changed your day, and your life.
Always be grateful for the big events in life. They are precious, and they are few. But don't forget about the small events. They are even more life-altering than the big things.