When I wrote the other day about Anxiety and progress, I had no idea it would resonate with so many people. I was just writing out of my own experience and about some of the things I can see now, looking back with the benefit of clarity that hindsight almost always brings.
The other thing I didn’t anticipate was my own reaction to that walk down memory lane. You see, I’m tempted to think back with regret about those missed doors of opportunity; but in fact the more I think about it, the more I realize that all of my life’s experiences have led me to the place I am today and that not one moment of that time has been wasted by God has he has shaped my life and guided my path.
So, I don’t feel regret as I look back. I feel grateful. So many friends, and even a few strangers, have been kind and gracious to me that I can’t begin to count them all. And each one of those moments of graciousness and generosity has helped me, shaped me, moved me forward.
There are even a few examples where someone thought they weren’t doing me any kindness, yet, that’s how it turned out. Being fired one Friday afternoon in December 1979 led indirectly to my start in voiceover. A summer lunch a couple of years later that I missed out on because I was on the air led directly to my start in voiceover. Being replaced as the host of a national Christian music countdown show in February of 1996 turned out to be one of the keys that led eventually to my working full-time exclusively in voiceover. Another step on that path took place when I was passed over for a promotion in 2003.
You see, kindness is sometimes not in the specific thing that was done or not done, it’s in what you make of the thing. I look at each of those moments I’ve just mentioned and I see how valuable that specific experience turned out to be. In each case, I didn’t feel good about the situation as it was happening, but at the same time I also never lost faith that I was making progress.
The explicit kindnesses far outnumber of hidden kindnesses, but intended or not, each one was important for its own reason. I imagine you can see the same kinds of things in your life. I’d love to hear about your journey. Comments are open.