Life has a way of changing things. “The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry,” it is said.
Indeed, I have seen many examples of this, not only in my life, but in many others as well. It only goes to show that as careful as we are in determining how we are going to spend our lives, something will always be there to help us find our way. That something is actually a someone who is the Holy Spirit.
If you have not already figured this out, God is ultimately in control. Not many people find the right place and stay there for a lifetime. As we grow, age and learn, we find that our priorities change, which may indeed dictate new directives in our lives.
Many years ago, my wife and I had the opportunity to befriend a specialist medical doctor, a podiatrist, to be exact. This highly educated lady had a very successful and lucrative practice, but that all changed when she gave birth to her first child.
Obviously, like any other mother, she took some time off to recover and get acquainted with her new born child. She also had the opportunity to get acquainted with herself. Even though she had only intended to take a month off, several months later, she had still not returned to her practice.
This lady had invested a dozen years of her life in schools and practicums to finally get to the point of fulfillment in her career.
None of her education was lost or wasted and even though she had a career and placement most people would envy, she had come to the stark realization that education, position and career was not an appropriate measure of success. She was forced to re-evaluate how she would spend her life.
We seem to be constantly bombarded with the idea that we make better citizens if we have gone to college. So normalized has this idea become that it is a rare day when people do not measure themselves or their children through their education or careers. Sadly, this is also the most prevalent measure among professed believers in Christ.
I was attending a church service for several months, largely incognito since I was new to the area and the church. I cannot say that I was mistreated in any way, but once it was discovered that I was educated as a bilingual biologist and teacher, I received far greater honour from the “big shots” at the church than when it was assumed I was just another grunt.
Nobody seemed to be concerned about my spiritual health, as much as by my societal status. The epistle of James came to mind!
Somehow, we seem to have lost our calling to prepare ourselves and our children for the eternal Kingdom of God. We have replaced faith with fear, adopting the idea that our temporal placement in this world is more important and that only the government knows how to best accomplish this.
Still, living as part of this temporal world often brings us to the need for further education. There is no doubt that education is a good thing and that the more you get, the better your options will become.
However, we cannot equate more education with greater success, but we do need to understand that there are a great many jobs, careers and placements that require advanced education available only through institutions of higher learning such as colleges, technical schools and universities.
Worth repeating is the cautionary admonishment to avoid going to college, etc., until you are clear what it is you need to do the job you want to do. Otherwise you are wasting your time and money which is not a great way to “spend” the limited minutes or money of your life.
It is also important to understand that even if you are highly trained and successful in your position, things can happen that cause you to change directions as my podiatrist friend discovered.
After giving birth to her baby, she fully intended to return to her practice. The problem was that when she began looking for someone to care for her baby, she could find no one as qualified as herself. It was, after all, her baby and no surrogate mother could do the job as well as she could. Only she could love the child as a mother. She did not return to her practice.
I cannot tell you how this story ended as we moved before it played out, but I can imagine that when the children were old enough (whatever that means!), she did return to practicing podiatry. Her education was never wasted, but her priorities where changed.
She temporarily adjusted the way she was spending her life. A highly educated and successful professional, willing to put her career on hold to fulfill a higher calling showed me that her desire to please God through service was more important to her than pleasing man in service to him. Both are important, but need to be in the correct priority.
In the meantime, I can imagine she had a meaningfully fulfilled life and her children likely had very healthy feet and ankles!