Monday, August 03, 2009

Choosing Our Destiny

Healing Rays: A Progressive, Positive, Practical Weekly Reflection
by Durrell Watkins
August 3, 2009

"We build our future, thought by thought,
For good or ill, yet know it not.
Yet so the universe was wrought.
Thought is another name for fate;
Choose then thy destiny and wait,
For love brings love and hate brings hate." - Henry Van Dyke

My grandmother was an elementary school teacher. But she didn't become a teacher in the conventional way. She didn't go from high school to college and start teaching at 22. She got married at 17 and decided to go to college two years later. It was during WW2 and there was a teacher shortage. She entered a special program that allowed one to get a teaching certificate without a degree. She went to college for one year and then started teaching. Of course, after the war, the state raised the standards for teachers so that within a few years all teachers were required to have a Bachelor's degree again. However, those who had received the non-degree certificate where allowed to keep teaching (but they were paid less than degreed teachers).

My grandmother decided she wanted to complete the degree, so every summer for 10 years she went to school until finally she did complete her Bachelor of Science in Education degree. Her sister got her degree in the exact same way and went on to earn a Master of Education degree, and their brother earned a Bachelor's degree and two Masters' degrees after serving as a pilot in WW2. All three retired from the profession of teaching.

What's the point of this bit of family nostalgia? Just that these relatives demonstrated to me that achieving goals may not be quick or easy, but that doesn't mean they aren't possible. We may have to find creative ways to achieve our goals. We may have to wait years before our dreams are fully realized. But deciding on a goal, believing it is possible and remaining committed to it until it is realized however long it takes is the recipe for ultimate success. By choosing to be committed, optimistic, and determined and by not giving up too soon, we may find that we are able to do exactly what we had always wished was possible. As it turns out, most of what we wish for really is possible. Our job is to "choose then [our] destiny and wait..." Let's keep moving forward toward our goals!

Rev. Durrell Watkins, D.Min.
Sunshine Cathedral

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