It’s About Seeing What’s Going on Around Us and Doing Something Good with It
The word Epiphany comes from the Greek work epipháneia that means manifestation or appearance. It’s the celebration of the awareness of the physical manifestation of Jesus. It commemorates the Magi coming to visit Him after His birth. It also celebrates the beginning of Jesus’ ministry through His baptism by John.
Traditionally the date for Epiphany is twelve days after Christmas on January 6th. There are a lot of variations of dates and celebrations for Epiphany around the world. But one thing is consistent when it comes to Epiphany…it’s based in the Christian belief that God came to earth as a man.
Epiphany is not as “big of a deal” as Christmas but is every bit as important.
Another use of the word Epiphany is a moment in life when a person experiences a new revelation or a new perspective on something that jolts them out of their current state. Most people have at least one these experiences.
This moment of realization, when a person sees reality in a new light, is called an epiphany.
Here are some examples of normal people epiphanies that had extraordinary results –
First – There was a young man name Ole in Milwaukee, Wisconsin who was smitten by a pretty young girl named Bess. Ole wanted so much to impress Bess that he invited her and some friends to a beautiful spot on the other side of Okauchee Lake for a picnic. When they had finished the meal and were cutting the pie for dessert Bess said that it was too bad that they didn’t have ice cream.
Ole responded by getting in the rowboat and going back across the lake to get some ice cream. The problem was that by the time he got back across the lake, the ice cream had melted. This was a good laugh for everyone but Ole.
After rowing across that lake Ole Evinrude had an epiphany and built the first practical and reliable outboard boat motor.
Second – A young boy named Benny and his brother were being raised in Detroit by a struggling single mother. Benny was having a difficult time in school and was falling behind. He was angry and began lashing out, even once trying to stab a friend.
Their mother was determined to do something about this. She limited their time watching television and required them to read and write book reports on two library books per week. She would grade these reports even though she could barely read herself. Benny began to excel in school, went to college and then to medical school.
After seeing the sacrifices his mother was willing to make Ben Carson had an epiphany and turned his life around.
He became a neurosurgeon that separated conjoined twins, who had been joined at the back of the head.
Third – 1927 was a pivotal year for Richard. His daughter had died in 1922 just before her 4th birthday. Richard dwelt on this and blamed himself for the poor living conditions. Then in 1927 he lost his job. They had no savings and the birth of their new daughter in 1927 added to the financial challenges. Richard drank heavily and reflected upon the solution to his family’s struggles on long walks around Chicago. During the autumn of 1927, he contemplated suicide by drowning in Lake Michigan, so that his family could benefit from a life insurance payment
Then on one of these walks Richard experienced a profound incident which would provide direction and purpose for his life. A voice spoke directly to him, and declared:
“… You think the truth. You do not have the right to eliminate yourself. You do not belong to you. You belong to the Universe. Your significance will remain forever obscure to you, but you may assume that you are fulfilling your role if you apply yourself to converting your experiences to the highest advantage of others.”
After his epiphany Richard Buckminster Fuller resolved to think independently and went on to become an architect, systems theorist, designer and inventor.
He developed numerous inventions with 28 US patents and architectural designs including the geodesic dome.
These three men could have chosen to ignore or overlooked their epiphanies, but they didn’t.
We need to remember what the Christian holiday Epiphany is and celebrate it all year long.
We all have or will experience epiphanies.
The question is what will you do with yours?