Another lifetime ago (Fall of 1982), I started out as a freshmen at NJIT as a computer science major. I had scored nearly 100 points higher on my math SAT's than my verbal (go figure), and so my father suggested that I might do well in this field. And, since I didn't have any idea what else to do with my life, I launched my less-than-stellar college career, flunking out after a single semester. Primarily because I chose to spend most of it partying rather than studying -- and with a guy-to-girl ratio of 12:1, there were endless opportunities to do just that.
When my parents realized how little I'd applied myself, they wisely suggested that I take some time off to define my goals -- and a week later, I was in a car accident that kept me flat on my back until the following summer. When I was able to walk again, I decided to become a missionary, and entered a four-year Bible school program in Minneapolis. After completing this program, I worked for two years as a "post-grad" and got my first taste of publishing, then moved to California where I completed my first "real" (accredited) degree in International Studies and Communications. Shortly thereafter, I became Catholic.
A few years later, one of the women in my RCIA group (a media consultant) clued me in to an editor position open at Servant Publications in Ann Arbor, Michigan. I was hired, worked there for eight years -- and decided to return to school, this time to get my Masters in theology from a Catholic institution.
Last year, I decided to take a hiatus to concentrate on some freelance assignments, and it became clear through these assignments that my skills needed a little updating. So now I'm taking some online classes... in computers. As one of the Great Ones once observed, "God writes straight with crooked lines."
So the next time you feel as though you are stranded out in the desert, and that God could not POSSIBLY be the one responsible for the particular tangent you are taking at present, take heart. God redeems not only people, but all of creation -- including time. Nothing is wasted. Nothing takes Him by surprise. Even our worst "mistakes" shine like gold in the Master Jeweler's hands. Be patient. Just wait. Every good story takes a few twists and turns before the final page.