Last night, I was asked where I saw myself in five years. I had a hard time answering that question for two reasons. First, I'm sixty years old and don't know how a five year plan fits in. The second reason is the simple fact that I have done all the daily, weekly, yearly, etc., goals throughout my life, including thinking five and ten years down the road, and very few of my long term plans have come to fruition.
I used to be one of those who bought the concept of setting all those goals in order to have success in career and life. I had all sorts of plans. Plans to coach at the college level, eventually being part of a national championship program. Plans to have a great impact in the lives of young people through my coaching.
Before that, I had plans to be an Olympic class sprinter.
Anyone want to take a guess at how those goals turned out? If you have followed college basketball or international track and field with even the smallest interest, you will know that I never reached those heights. While I was an assistant coach of a women's basketball team for one year at a small college, and I did spend one year running for a nationally recognized track club, those were quite a bit below where I wanted to be.
I used to be somewhat envious of those I knew who had their career track in mind at an early age and were doing exactly what they had envisioned. They had no deviations from the straight and narrow on their career path, while mine looked more like a drunken sailor on his way back to the ship. Not only did the path take some back roads, it sometimes ran along trails that seemed to go nowhere.
I have come to realize that my journey has not been of my planning or of my doing. I know, some of you may be saying, "Here we go. All of the excuses for why he's not successful." And, you may be right. I beg to differ. I believe long ago, God decided that I was not to do this whole planning, accomplishing, and succeeding thing on my own. I tried. I went to school, earned degrees, did internships, sent out resumes, all those things I was supposed to do. I watched folks less qualified get positions I was wanting. I spent time in jobs that didn't come close to fitting my plans. I never did grab the brass ring.
But, you know what? As I look back on my life, I realize that I wouldn't change a thing. Well maybe a couple of things here and there, but overall not a thing. I have had the opportunity to travel as a part of jobs I had. I have had the opportunity to work with some fantastic people and coach some amazing young folks, whether they were star athletes or not. I have had opportunities to learn some lessons that were life changing. Most importantly, I have had a wonderful wife by my side and the privilege of being a father to two wonderful children, both of whom I had the opportunity to coach. And, I have experienced the love and grace of fellow followers of Jesus that I am grateful to own as my brothers and sisters.
To quote the philosopher, Jerry Garcia, "What a long strange trip it's been." I am thankful for the way my Father has led me through all the twisting and turning. I am grateful for all those who have helped me along the way. I guess it's turned out pretty well. I think I'm looking forward to where the road takes me over the years to come. Should be fun.
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