At one point in my life I made a lot of plans… starting when I was 25. Five year plans, ten year plans. You know, how you do? Then LIFE enters in and plans shift and transform to reflect the real world.
I was in the midst of my plans when I moved to Washington DC when I was 25 to work for a small architectural firm there….probably on track to get my registration and AIA* accreditation. But, I met my husband Brice there and turns out – he was career military. So every so often, instead of establishing my career somewhere – we’d move. We did see the best parts of the country – big cities, like Honolulu, Indianapolis, New York City.
Children and homeschooling them in our semi-retirement in Northern Michigan happened next.
Major moves to Oregon when they were teenagers happened next.
(And, to be open – some marital problems, a separation and reconciliation added to the mix of experiences).
Last on the list of big surprises, Brice made his transition in 2007. I never had that on my plan – ever, anywhere. Learning to work through grief has been a huge life lesson.
Each time I shifted further and further away from any plan I might have had in mind, you know, I still was moving in a certain direction. Each time events conspired to teach me lessons, major and minor, I learned.
Now, I can say – I don’t know what plan I am on, but I DO know the direction I am going. I am taking the talents, skills and gifts that have matured along the way and allowing them to grow.
It says in the Bible, ‘It only takes a small tiller to move a very large ship’. That’s a favorite quote of mine. It speaks to the way course corrections are made. Carefully and gently.
Mary Baker Eddy wrote in her book ‘Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures‘, “Time is measured by the unfoldment of good”. I love this idea. Because if you started to measure time in this way, time would have no meaning – but the quality of good in your life would have all the significance. Instead of 5-year plans, you might think in terms of the expectation of good. You might start to look for the good unfolding all around you.
As I sit here writing this little message, three different teams of elementary school kids have passed by on a little treasure hunt their class is doing here in Downtown Traverse City, Michigan. I happen to be sitting under the historic market that denotes the answer to one of the questions they are hunting for ‘when was the TC Opera House built?’ Well the answer is…1891 when three brothers-in-law built the 1200 seat Victorian showpiece. Each cluster of kids has come right over to my table, And each has taken a few minutes to love on my dog, Bear. It’s a small thing, but given the lovely interactions we’ve both had with the kids? That’s good measured.
And, back to the title of this piece, “If you don’t know the path, do you know the direction?”… It turns out, we are directed to good. By good. For good. Always. The path is not always clear, but the direction is —
‘I am the way, the Truth and the Life’ — Christ Jesus.
Copyright held by Alexis Wittman
- Heaven Pokes Through Bit by Bit – (godislivingme.com)
- Kindness Science (madcapchristianscientist.com)