This article won a $1000 Award of Outstanding Merit from the Amy Foundation in 2013.
The entertainment world was stunned recently by the death of Whitney Houston, the most-awarded female act of all time. Whitney Houston Wiki
The news spread about the singer’s death like a computer virus the day before the Grammy Awards, prompting something you don’t typically see at the Grammys–a rap star opening the show with a prayer.
Whitney’s voice, her beauty, and her acting on the big screen were rare combinations in the entertainment world. Her music alone was enough to make her a superstar, earning her six Grammys and over two dozen Grammy nominations for songs like “Saving All My Love For You,” “I Wanna Dance With Somebody,” and “I Will Always Love You.”
She sang the Emmy award winning song “One Moment in Time,” written by Albert Hammond and John Bettis for the 1988 Summer Olympics and Paralympics held in Seoul, South Korea. source
Hearing that song against the backdrop of the Olympic games gives it more meaning. It is at the Olympic games that many athletes hope to find their destiny and have that one moment that could change their lives forever.
At the opening of the Olympic Games in Seoul in 1988, Houston sang: “I want one moment in time/ When I’m more than I thought I could be/ When all of my dreams are a heartbeat away/ And the answers are all up to me/ Give me one moment in time/ When I’m racing with destiny/ Then in that one moment of time/ I will feel/ I will feel eternity.” source
There have been many athletes, many actors, famous and just ordinary people who have enjoyed their 15 minutes of fame who disagree with those lyrics. A moment in time may have changed their lives, but it didn’t sustain them. A moment never sustains people for a lifetime. It dries up. Even so, people often reach back for a moment in time like a thirsty people crossing a desert reach for their canteens more than once, only to find them dry each time.
The need to find one’s way back to that one moment in time is what drives so many people to alcohol and drugs. Drugs help mask the emptiness of a life that hasn’t found a replacement for that moment. The drugs become their new moment, but of course, when they wear off, they have to reach for more and the downward spiral has begun.
Whitney sings, “You’re a winner for a lifetime/ If you seize that one moment in time/ Make it shine.”
The truth is, no one can live off a moment. For many the feeling is like a high that is chased for years, never to be found again. If it is found, it only feeds the addiction. Many live off the memory of the moment like a bear lives off its fat during hibernation. Eventually, that has to stop or there will be serious problems.
Undefeated is a film documentary nominated for an Oscar. The film follows volunteer football coach Bill Courtney through a magical season as he coaches the undermanned, underfunded Manassas Tigers of north Memphis to an undefeated season, a team that previously had never made it to the playoffs. source
Once the film cast a spotlight on the team and the community, the coach cautioned the team not to let their 15 minutes of fame become a defining moment. “If this is the best thing that ever happens to your life,” he says, “you’ve got a deficiency in your soul you need to think about.” (Ibid)
Life is a journey, a long journey. While memories are important, if we live only off them, we’ve allowed life to stop. We’ve said, “Life will never get better. We’ve lived out the greatest and most meaningful parts of our existence. It’s all downhill from here. There will never be another moment in time.” How depressing!
There can be a moment in every year. There can be a moment in every month. There can be a moment in every week. There can be a moment in every day when we look to the Lord to confirm that He is guiding us and living out His purpose in our lives. When these moments happen, it’s like God winking at us and reminding us that He is working in our midst, continuing to work out his purpose in our lives. He can do this even in the midst of suffering and tragic situations. There is no drug that can touch the feeling that God is with us every moment and seeks to use many, many, moments, not just one, to define our purpose and our lives.