While recently reading Stephen King’s “On Writing,” I was struck by a revelation decidedly not Stephen-King-ish. In fact, the king of horror would probably scoff if he heard me say it, but Papa God brought me to an epiphany of sorts through Steve’s life story.
Without really meaning to, in relating the odd events of his early life, Steve verified in my mind the amazing fact that the Almighty is constantly preparing us for our future by the events of our past and present.
This fact is amazing because it demonstrates with no uncertainty that our Creator cares about us personally and has a plan for each of us – a destination in mind for our life-journey that may very well include hairpin turns and hair-raising twists in the road. We can’t always fathom their purpose at the time, but they serve to bring us closer and closer to our final destination.
And each segment of highway is divinely intentioinal. Each bump, rut, slick patch, and S-curve is by master design.
For example, one of Steve’s early jobs (before he became a bestselling, mega-author and was a poor, struggling writer trying to support a wife and children) was washing hospital sheets and restaurant tablecloths. The dirty linens were often a week old by the time they were delivered to Steve.
Just picture, if you dare, the bloody gore and disgusting nastiness of decaying body tissues and old food crawling with maggots and fungus that he encountered daily (which he describes in revolting detail in the book). Now consider what kind of stories Steve writes today. See a connection?
It made me look back on my own life story at all the seemingly incongruent sub-plots and red herrings that turned out to contribute heavily to the inspirational writing, music, and speaking programs I produce today:
*The decade of piano lessons I fought against with tears, pleading, and gnashing of teeth
*Every voice and bell choir in existence that my parents made me join while I was growing up
*Mr. George, my long-time youth choir director who got me used to being onstage
*The English teachers that pushed me into writing contests in middle and high school
*The class officer elections that forced me to speak to the entire student body with my knees knocking
*The college acting classes that I thought were just for fun, but taught me stage presence
*Countless sermons I heard three times every single week of my life because I wasn’t allowed to miss a church service (All that Bible-study seeps into your bored brain whether you mean for it to or not.)
*A front row seat to observing Christianity being lived out loud in real life by family members and friends who kept strong in their faith through struggles, questions, doubts, hardship, and illness
*And I mustn’t forget this important one: Being raised in a home where a sense of humor was valued, appreciated, and cultivated. A laugh a day keeps the blues away!
So I owe a nod of gratitude to Mr. King for inadvertently pointing out the obvious: We are a pre-ordained product of the components of our past. And all the twists in the road are there for a reason.
Now I just have to figure out what all these hot flashes are preparing me for 🙁