“Man’s steps are from the Lord; how then, can a man understand his way?” — Proverbs 20:24
The other day my daughter, Robin, asked me to write down a certain word in shorthand. Though I know I am dating myself by revealing this, I am proud to say I still remember how to write in shorthand, a skill I learned in high school a few short decades ago.
Robin was working on an art project for a company logo. She thought using the shorthand would be a creative way to go. I don’t want to reveal the company name, however, it was an unusual word. I was pretty sure of how to write it, but it suddenly came to me I could check my accuracy because I still had my handy little, pocket-size Gregg Shorthand Dictionary packed away somewhere in my home.
Surprisingly, I dug through only a couple of desk drawers before finding it. Another surprise was having to dig through another drawer to find a magnifying glass in order to read the darn thing. I do not recall having this problem back when I was in school regularly perusing the book.
It’s funny how a simple request can get you thinking about your whole life. I began adulthood preparing to be a legal secretary, and for a short time, that’s exactly what I was, until I felt a yearning for mothering. Over the years while volunteering and serving my church and community, God seemed to illuminate new paths for me to follow. As needs arose, I discovered I had gifts to offer. Secretarial Science has become a distant memory – – – well, except for the shorthand, which has come in handy from time to time, especially during the years I was a newspaper correspondent.
How often have we heard similar stories? I’ve heard it from friends, relatives and even celebrities. I once heard an actor say he was only keeping his friend company as she tried out for a part in a movie. Suddenly, this guy was asked to read for a part and the next thing he knew, his name was up in lights! Almost everyone, usually by the time they are middle-aged, will admit they are not doing what they started out doing after finishing school.
I would bet most of these shifts in careers happened because a need arose which had to be dealt with. In my faith-sharing gatherings, it is often said, “God does not choose the qualified. He qualifies the chosen.” I believe when a “need” is put before you, God is saying, “You can do this” and it’s just too hard to say “no” to God.