But they do not know
the thoughts of the Lord;
they do not understand his plan,
that he has gathered them like sheaves to the threshing floor.
Micah 4:12 (NIV)
Wendy and I spoke to both our daughters over the weekend. They find themselves in similar situations. Taylor finishes her graduate work in August and then has to figure out where life’s road will take her. Madison finishes her bachelor’s degree in December and has the same questions about direction. It’s a time of both anxiety and excitement for them. I can appreciate that. They’ve both worked hard, done well, and I’m a proud papa. I’ve enjoyed seeing how their experiences earlier in life are framing their current and future directions. Some things I could have predicted, while other things surprise me.
It also has me reminiscing about my own experience. I started working when I was a kid. Paper route, lawn mowing, doing inventory for my dad’s company, and babysitting were my first endeavors before I became a teenager. I even worked at a campaign during the Iowa caucuses. At thirteen I was allowed to bus tables in a restaurant and eventually I made my way to retail. But I still had a lot of odd jobs like pollenating and lifeguarding.
As I’ve continued on through life I’ve come to appreciate all of my experiences. The biggest lesson was the development of a work ethic, but I also learned things like what I really don’t want to do for a living if I can help it. At the same time, it gave me a tremendous respect for those who really do like jobs that I could never do and gave me a huge appreciation for those who do whatever they can, because that is where they find themselves on life’s road.
I’ve come to accept on this journey that I rarely know or comprehend the plan. I find myself in this place going through these circumstances with little knowledge of how this is going to be of great help to me further on down the road. But they do. If I am wise and continue to walk this path intentionally, then I will someday look back and see how my experiences today pave the way for the person I will be tomorrow.