I heard recently that people in biblical times recorded notable events on their staffs. I had never heard that before! I couldn’t find information to support it, but it got me thinking. If I had only a staff on which to record significant parts of my life, what would be on it?
My parents, of course, left their mark on me, having established in me a sense of right and wrong, justice and respect, duty and creativity. Several teachers also made significant impressions – some whose passion for what they did truly impacted their teaching. My father’s sudden death caused me to feel abandoned for years. I graduated from high school!
My college experience was more than academic learning. I think it was there I learned about boundaries and trust, freedom and self-knowledge. I explored many jobs over the years, and that taught me that I could learn to do different things, some of them better than others. I learned to admire a certain few who became role models for me. Certain books became my favorites for different reasons – some were inspirational, some whimsical, and some allowed me to simply lose myself for awhile, totally reveling in each of the characters and all of their struggles – but each left lasting impressions.
As I look back on my life, the fears, or inadequacies that I conquered, and the abilities I achieved are what stand out the most. If I carried a staff I would have quite a few notches – but they would represent less tangible things – finally mastering the ability to speak to a group, spending time with a person who was dying and not being afraid, providing physical comfort to someone who was cold and alone.
My staff supports me. It causes me to stand up straight. It reminds me of those things of which I am most proud. If you carried a staff, what would yours say about you?