by Annette Bridges. ©2009. All rights reserved.

We’ve probably all experienced an “Aha!” moment at some point in our personal or professional lives.

I’m talking about one of those illuminating moments when someone suddenly turns the light on and you can see clearly for the first time in a long time. It’s one of those times when whatever was puzzling you, now makes perfect sense — when confusion vanishes and understanding takes its place. It’s when you realize you’ve just discovered something that is meaningful to you. An “Aha!” moment is a turning point — a landmark juncture — when you know your life is never going to be the same.

For Newton it was an apple falling on his head. For a young Albert Einstein, inspiration struck when he was handed a compass and realized that some unseen force in space was making it move. Have you heard the story of Archimedes? He discovered the principles of water displacement and buoyancy in the bathtub. His “Aha!” sent him leaping naked from the tub and running down the street shouting, “Eureka!” — the Greek word for “I found it.”

“Aha!” moments often grow out of hours of thought and due diligence. Many times defining moments arrive unexpectedly. Regardless of when or how they come, an “Aha!” brings us clarity, inspiration, motivation, and revelation.

Sometimes it just takes one “Aha!” moment to change you forever. Perhaps something you’ve experienced completely reverses the way you view life. Or something profound you’ve heard or read enlightens your consciousness and alters a long-held perspective.

O, the Oprah Magazine has been featuring a column on “Aha!” moments. Recently, Jill Scott, singer and star of “The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency” tells about one of her “Aha!” moments. Her aunt’s untimely passing taught her a lesson about living life to the fullest.

We all have “Aha!” moments — no doubt we all need them. But once we get these insights, we need to seize them and utilize the newly discovered wisdom in order to reap the benefits they promise to provide.

Is it possible to be too busy to have time for the “Aha!” moment that has the potential to change your life?

I think so. Or at least I know that I’ve had days (or years) when my life felt consumed by trivial pursuits. In these times, I’ve often believed that I was missing something important. I’ve felt that some epiphany was just around the corner — if only I could shorten the list that was monopolizing my time, energy and thought.

But perhaps this acknowledgement is a Eureka moment in and of itself. Or for me, it is as if I can’t help but make the necessary changes in my life — changes that make self-reflection and prayer a priority.

When an “Aha!” truly captures our attention, we know in our soul what we must do — there is no going back. The “Aha!” is the realization that we already have been changed. An “Aha!” never leaves us where it found us. We will be pushed onward and forward, empowered, encouraged, strengthened and determined to use our newfound knowledge.

I have no doubt that anyone who heard Jesus preach had “Aha!” moments that transformed their lives, and they were never the same again. Multitudes were healed of their broken spirits and bodies.

Again and again following a healing, Jesus confirmed “Thy faith hath made thee whole.” (Matthew 9:22) I think when our hopes rest upon faith and expectation that God will and can help and heal us, we ready our thought for the divine “Aha!” that brings healing.

The ability to change and be healed is within our grasp. We can understand what we need to know. That new, big idea is attainable. The needed turnaround is achievable.

“Aha!” moments are not for a chosen few. God gives all His children infinite ideas, and these spiritual ideas lead us Godward until we reach the earthshaking understanding that changes our human sense of things to the divine. Then as Paul says, “In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye”…”we shall all be changed.” (I Corinthians 15:51-52)

And so we are.