I think it is when we realize that we are simply mortal; we begin the search for meaning. If we are open to it, I believe we find God. Mortality is always there in the back of the mind like a faint bell off in the distance; once you hear it, it never goes away. When we are consumed by fear of the end rather than God's love, it gets ugly.
That was my train of thought this morning as I read a couple of blogs and thought to myself what sets people of faith apart. I should note that you can define God however you choice, it doesn't have to be the God I know.