The past is such a curious thing. Though the facts of the past don’t change, the impressions they leave, their effects and interpretations, do change. A lot. Even at only 27 years old I have experienced that shift that comes from moving to a further and further distance from a past event or relationship. How differently I think of certain memories now compared to when I was so close to their happening. I must say, I am preferring the broader vision that comes with that distance.
After college, when my misguided plans fell apart and I engaged in a ten-round wrestling match with God over what the heck I should do with my life, I could only see what was immediately behind me. I could not see what would come or how the present would look once I passed a little further down the road of time. Now I glance back over my shoulder and realize that God brought me around to what I’d really been wanting even six years ago. The writing, the ministry work, the solidity of my identity in Him… It’s not all in place yet and I have a hunch that He’ll have ample opportunity to shake down more of my personal plans, but realizing how He put the pieces together that eventually placed me right here, right now, doing the things I’m doing, bolsters my confidence that He is still moving me. That even now, the present is another piece. I won’t know what it connects to until more of the puzzle is put together. For now, this is as far as He’s built the puzzle; this is where He’s stood me in the course of things and it is good.
These thoughts struck me after an long online chat with an old friend. We were sort of ‘involved’ very briefly in high school but our age difference and my parents’ rules kept us from ever dating. In college there was more possibility but we never moved past an infatuated friendship and eventually we lost touch. Then came the era of facebook and here we are chatting online from our homes in neighboring states while watching our respective favorite baseball teams and glancing through each other’s recent photographs. It was lovely to catch up with him mainly because of how happy he is now. I mean, this guy is incredibly happy! It was wonderful to hear how in love he is with his wife, how he adores being a father, how much he enjoys his career. I was thrilled to hear it all, not only because I am so very glad for him, but also how glad I am for me. I have every reason (with this latest bit adding to the supporting evidence) to believe God is piecing my life together for my greatest good. He asks me to do the work, engage in the opportunities to love others and conform to Christ, which He provides at present. He asks me to trust in where I will go with Him. As well, He is piecing another person’s life together for his greatest good. How awe inspiring that God will make each of us a part of each other’s greatest good.