Monday, March 1, 2010

Watershed Moment

watershed - an important point of division or transition between two phases, conditions, etc.

The use of the term "watershed" in our english lexicon is fairly common. It is used typically to denote a dividing moment between two very different outcomes. War and peace. Happiness and turmoil. Life and death. However, the history of the term comes from a less grandiose and dramatic background. It refers to a ridge or crest line dividing two drainage areas. Thus rain failing to one side of the high ground goes one way and rain falling to the other side goes the other. The ridge line of a roof is an example of a watershed.

In this posting, I focus on the notion of watershed as a clear divide. A point in time where I marked the signs between the past and the future. The impetus for my thoughts came as I completed yet another book focussing on right living as a Christian. In the last several years alone, I have read more than 30 books in this vein. The question that suddenly coarsed through my mind was whether any of this had made a difference. Was I living differently? Did I view God differently or more fully or more clearly? Did I treat my fellow man with any greater favor? Did the books just represent a temporary warmth in my heart and mind that dissipated immediately after I closed the cover?

I think the answer is both yes and no. This, I believe, represented a watershed moment for me. When I answer no, it is mainly that I have lost memory of the detailed specifics of each authors work. Sure, I can give a brief synopsis of the book and my general impression of the author's main points of view, but that is the extent of my memory. However, when I answer yes, I realize that these books have helped me to sort out my own theology. They have sharped my understanding of the Bible, allowing me to separate the wheat from the chaff. They have allowed me to develop a clearer truce in my mind between my scientific and analytical mind, and the holy trinity. They have allowed me to better understand what I believe and why I believe it. They have allowed me to move away from being just a parrot of what I have been told to help me form the core of who I am, what I believe, and how I live.