When I look back over the road map of my life I am truly amazed at the twists and turns that have occurred. Many of them were fraught with situations and circumstances that I battled and struggled against at the time. I never thought that, unbeknownst to me, miracles were taking place. Often there was much personal pain involved and I could not see that any good could possibly come out of any given event.
But despite the detours and obstacles, everything that has happened, and that will no doubt continue to happen, has made a marvelous journey and adventure that I have participated in and will hopefully continue for a few more years. The difficulties and problems that I have faced have all been gifts in their own unique way and have offered opportunities to learn lessons and to grow. There is probably not a day goes by, even the most mundane, that does not present me with some small occasion that can flourish into a moment of growth.
As I scan the past that is my history, I know that I have oft times thought I was on the path, doing the right thing, heading in a specific direction, planning a particular outcome. But then God looked down smiling and said, “What do you think you are doing, my child?” And the next thing I knew, BAM, I had walked myself right into a wall!!
I read a short excerpt from some writing by Thomas Merton the other day, and it fits right in with this particular concept.
“My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going, I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain
where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think I am following Your will does
not mean that I am actually doing so, but I believe that the desire to please You does in fact please You.”
Just a few weeks ago I thought I was headed in one such “right” direction. The question of “going back to school” has surfaced once again through various sources. (This has been a recurring issue for me over the last twenty five years, coupled with a desire to get a degree.) Through a series of coincidences one of these sources seemed to offer itself as the right one, and the requisite degree dangled like a carrot in front of me. I pushed in that direction thinking, “at last, I’ll have my bit of paper”.
The information package duly arrived and I got duly excited, until I started reading the details. Apart from the fact that it would be an extremely taxing and intense course, albeit very interesting and in one of my prime fields of interest, the time commitment and the financial commitment were quite unrealistic for my possibilities. I remember feeling frustrated and disappointed but in my mind I hung onto “the dream” and tried to make it work. But God was smiling again.
This time, however, He decided to remove the wall before I hit it! Through another set of unexpected coincidences I was presented with another path, another school, and although it does not offer a degree it will give me a certification in a field that I already informally work in and that I love – Spiritual Direction. But more than that it will most definitely offer me the chance to grow some more in my relationship with my Creator.
The school is well within my reach both on practical terms as well as financial terms, which means my goal will be realistically attainable. There will be a lot of reading and writing, which is right up my alley! And there will also be a great deal of intimate sharing which I know always offers fertile ground for personal growth. I am excited at this chance which has shown up on my path. Let the journey continue!