During last evening’s gathering of “No Ordinary Women” (named for the book No Ordinary Time by Jan Phillips) we recognized that each of us, in looking back over our lives, had evolved in ways we had not foreseen our early years. It’s always interesting to ask children the question: “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Usually, the younger the child, the more fanciful the response – and it rarely touches on what really happens as they mature. Only one of us touched on what would be an answer to that question, i.e. career or profession, but we all agreed that we had evolved personally in ways we might not have expected as we walked our life path. Life has a way of forming us through events and relationships that sometimes seem random but can be quite formative as we live into and then reflect on them and their impact on us. For example, I thought I would be a high school French teacher all my working life. At this point, I have not lived that role since 33 years ago and have worn six different hats since I left that first position!
Perhaps today is a good day to carve out a bit of time to see where we started and who we have become because of the influences in our lives. I just took a 3-minute break here and made a cursory list of the twists and turns in my life and people who were instrumental in the genesis of those happenings. There were 12 people on my list and that was mostly in regard to career shifts. Just think where I could go if I looked at my personal life! As we move toward the celebration of Thanksgiving in our country, let us all reflect on how our past has generated our present and what we see as possibility for the future. The goal? Seeing God’s hand in every instance of our growth and giving thanks.