Sometimes it is easier to see the value of experience by looking backwards.
I have had many jobs – so many that it has been a long standing joke among my closest friends. In fact, one of the best Christmas presents I ever received was a small urn with “Ashes of Old Bosses” written on its side. (I kept it at home…never quite having the nerve to place it on my desk at work!) Laughing aside, although I always felt I was struggling to find something “meaningful” that would “make a difference” in the lives of others, I can now look back and see how each of my experiences prepared me for others that came later.
In high school, the steps in geometry for completing a hypothesis totally baffled me. When I worked in a sheltered workshop, I realized that individuals with various disabilities could indeed do similar jobs, but different adaptations had to be made for each individual. In later years, when I was involved in monitoring contracts for state services, I finally understood how each step had significant importance when you were contracting for specific services.
When the supervisor for my job as an aide in a hospital social service office provided little direction or supervision to me as a new worker, I was left to discover pieces of information on my own. In one case, I learned that a woman who had been in a car accident and who had come into the hospital without identification had crossed the border from Canada, and that she had a mental health history. A later position allowed me to do some investigative work for an insurance agency, and by the time I worked in Protective Services, I knew how to gather and document important information, and I loved it. Today I am not afraid to embark upon new challenges to locate information.
Isn’t it interesting that all of my “wandering” from job to job was really preparing me for things in my future? Isn’t it amazing that my search for meaning and to make a difference was really being shaped from the start, including books that I read as a youth? Yes, I believe God knew exactly what He was doing when He created each of us, and I believe that this holds true for everyone. Yes, we make choices, but each choice shapes us for things to come. What an awesome God to have such individualized plans for each of us! Can you tell where God has been leading you?