Do you ever look back at you life and see turning points? I can see them all the time. You know what I mean. Decisions that are really forks in the road. Decisions that when you make them don’t seem that life changing, but really are. I had lunch today with one of my best friends from High School. He lives in way out I 85 near Braselton. We don’t see each other that much, I saw him at Julia’s service and then at another friend’s wedding. The last time we had lunch together was probably almost two years ago. It’s funny how you c an be so close to someone when you are young, and then life happens and you drift apart. He has always lived way out in NE metro Atlanta and we have lived in the NW. It may as well be another city. Anyway, there were four of us in High School. We called ourselves the four Musketeers. We pretty much did everything together. Sure we all dated some. But most of the time we were hanging out at one of our houses. There was Randy, John and Tommy. I was called Tommy back then and my Dad was called Tommy. That often led to confusion. Anyway I had lunch with Tommy today. It brought back old memories. Randy lives in South Carolina, and John passed away in 95.
John was really close to me because we were almost neighbors and hung out together all the time. We spent summers out on our neighborhood lake. His dad was an Delta mechanic at the time and he had some big airplane tire tubes. We used to spend all day in the summer floating on the lake. John was the one who was driving when we hit a telephone poll and I lost my three front teeth. The four of us played soccer together, and were in all the advanced classes together. Then John got the grand idea to slip his senior year and graduate. We all probably could have done it, we had enough credits, but John was the only one with focus. He had a plan. He would go to Emory and then to Med school and become a doctor. I wanted to be a doctor also, but I wasn’t as determined as John. So John graduated early while Tommy, Randy and myself finished High School. Probably the biggest decision that I had to make was where to go to college. I wanted to be a doctor, I thought; so I thought I would probably go to Emory. But I loved Ga Tech, and I could get to med school there after I graduated. It was a hard decision, but eventually I chose Tech.
Looking back, that was the first big fork in the road in my life. What would have happened to me if I had went to Emory? Would I have become a Doctor? Would I still have become a pilot? Would I still have met Julia? Would I be walking with the Lord like I am today? So many questions that really don’t matter. But sometimes I find myself wondering. It’s not that I want something different; I am just amazed at how God uses everything even when it is not in his control to work for our good. I went to Tech and I didn’t become a Doctor. I became a pilot, and flew home to meet Julia. Wow, that’s another life changing decision. What if I had flown to Las Vegas for cross-country? That’s where almost everyone in my class went. Then I wouldn’t have met Julia.
When you really look at it, our life is defined by the choices we make. Each choice takes us on a different path. So it comes down to this. How do we make our choices? If we are believers, then hopefully we seek His guidance and help. But I believe that sometimes He says “Just choose”. To many of us are so afraid of making the wrong choice that we don’t choose at all. I believe Papa gave us dreams to help us make choices. Most of the dreams for our lives probably came from Him. He has a destiny that He wants us to fulfill. We shouldn’t be afraid to choose. We all have forks in the road, and we all have choices to make. We can’t please everyone, but we can please Him, and ourselves.
So I was asking Papa about my choices. Did I take the right forks in the road? Am I where He wanted me to be? It was if I saw Him smile at me am wink, as He said “You did fine Tom, you chose wisely”. I’m not really sure that I chose wisely all the time, but I know from the smile that I am right where He wants me, and that really is a good place to be.
I am being healed. I think I must be ahead of schedule, whatever that is. All I know that His goodness is so overwhelming some time, and although I think of Julia intermittently all day, the thoughts are of good times and memories and not of loss or of grief. I know that there are stiil times to come, especially the holidays where her loss will be severe. But I have a plan and He has a plan to show His love to our family in ways I can’t even imagine. Well, I’m late for bed. I’m glad I got a power nap in this afternoon. I love going to sleep focusing on His love and goodness.