Moments That Impact

I was working as a disc jockey in a local music radio station in Ajax ON, on a normal Monday in December 1980. Only two of us were in the station. And as I’m about to go on-air, newsman Mark yells from the newsroom, “John Lennon’s been shot!!”

My response is, “yeah suuuuuure he has.” Newspeople have a history of bad jokes, especially certain newspeople.

 But then I pause, “Could it be?  What if he’s not joking?”  


“If it’s true get me the story on air!” I respond.


Mark rushes into the news booth, copy paper in hand. Oh. My.


So, as a song winds down, I give him a quick, “Newsman Mark Stevens has a special report for us.” He pauses for a beat and reads,“Former Beatle John Lennon has been shot and killed outside his New York City apartment. Few details are known at this time but we’ll keep you up to date as we know more. To repeat, former Beatle John Lennon has been shot and killed outside his New York City apartment.”


 Then we look at each other in stunned silence as I roll a song.


History is what happens when you don’t expect it. Sometimes you don’t even know it’s a historical event until later. Watching a plane flying into the World Trade Center, we were shockedly aware that this was a history moment.


I guess history is, by definition, stuff that has happened. (techinical eh?)  Some moments you might recognize for what they are or maybe it takes the perspective of time.


I can think of a few in my years…


JFK being assassinated,

Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream” speech, his assassination,

the first walk on the moon,

John Lennon’s assassination,

the Challenger Shuttle disaster,

Nelson Mandela’s election as South African PM in ’94,


the ’04 tsunami in Indonesia,

the  2010 Haiti earthquake,

Billy Graham preaching his announced “last sermon” this month on his 95th birthday,

the typhoon in The Philipines


You probably remember different cultural/historical moments. But they mark your time, your life and your heart. And I can bet they marked your prayers and your relationship with God. You pray differently on the day of a world or culture shaking moment. And I’d say you pray differently afterward. 


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