from Wikimedia Commons
A few years ago, my sister said something that has resonated with me almost every day since I heard it: Every circumstance you are placed in is preparing you for something else. It’s a concept I’ve seen at work in my own life, which makes me so grateful for how sovereign and crafty our God just is. For instance, out of college, I went to work for a government agency as a secretary, not the most glamorous job in the world, but I learned accountability, patience, the value of team work and not feeding the gossip beast, a few years and unpleasant jobs later brought me to a some formative years as an editorial assistant, and what I learned here was invaluable: that what I had to write meant something, that some people (namely research scientists) actually valued what I had to say, and of course with any job there were the non-related work circumstances that taught me quite a bit too. Finally, more recently, personal life circumstances gave me the material to write a book and begin a blog so all of that built on itself: the work ethic, the knowledge, and the humbling circumstances with which to relate to my reader.
I had a chance to look at this practically when reading to the girls yesterday from a kid’s biography on Winston Churchill. Winston grew up in a political family, had a few fits and starts with behavior, schooling, and in both of those arenas early on in life, things were looking a little bleak. However, it took a few people to really invest in him, namely his nanny and to see his passion for leadership and serving in the armed forces to really draw this boy out. You see, for a long time, Churchill desperately wanted to be a politician like his father, to influence, to lead, BUT, he had to start somewhere, so he began to write and what he wrote he began to speak and when his writing became so good, he was asked to travel and write, which landed him in a bit of hot water (namely, prison) but he managed to escape and in the course became a hero, from there his bravery increased and throughout his life he got into some circumstances which were really out of his hands but formed his character. Which got me to thinking on the value of starting where you can. Churchill has huge aspirations for himself but he started with what he could do.
Here’s my encouragement to you, whether you are 17 or 72, start humbly at the bottom. Do the menial tasks, the hours in the copy room with you and the rumbling machines. Sweep up when no one is looking, be consistent, follow through.
With my life taking a 180 in the past few years, of course I’ve had the question, “Will things ever get back ‘on track’?” But God may have a couple of different ideas on what that track looks like and I have to be content with that. I need to realize that whatever dreams I have, big or small, it means doing to grunt work at the beginning:
1) Continuing to write when it doesn’t feel like anything is happening and no one is paying attention
2) Being a good mother to Little A
3) Being consistent and accountable in my jobs
4) Maintaining personal relationships the best way I know how with lots of prayer
Some of these are expansive and require lots of bullet points underneath, others, like faithfully writing are straightforward.
I know we are almost into June already, but now may be just the time to jump start those New Year’s goals or come up with a few new ones, it just may transform your meantime.