When we look into our hearts, can we find our story? Do we have a story?
I ask myself this often. God made me in His image and likeness; this is according to what the Bible says. I am also loved by God, as I love him. He has given me life, and He has given me a story. Do I know what this story is?
I began my working life by joining the family business. This was a small retail odds and ends store that had a camera department. I joined this because when I received my discharge from the Marines, my parents had just bought the store and the head of the camera department quit; he thought that he should have been given the opportunity to buy, instead of my parents.
I worked in this store for twenty-seven years, beginning as a novelty gift shop to a full-fledged camera store, and finally to a photo lab and photo studio. It was never really profitable. Due to bad luck when the building that the store was in was bought by a person who did not share the view of the building that the previous owner had. A photo store did not please him. Over the next twenty years, we were forced to move three times, costing us customers, and costing us money that should have been profits. I finally closed the store in the early 1990s and returned to college to become a teacher, which was not such a big change, since as a photo guru, I taught many people how to use their cameras and how to take good pictures. Teaching was a big part of my photo career.
When I became a teacher, several of my former mentors came to mean and said something such as it’s about time, or you finally woke up to what you should be doing.
When I became a teacher and then a college professor, I was never happier. I knew from my first day as a teacher, which was to be a long-term substitute for a teacher who was having a baby, I knew that I had found what my story was. I was fifty-one years old, when I began teaching; and, I was seventy-five years old when I retired.
I know that I touched many lives; I know that because there are many former students who are my friends and we are in contact with each other on a regular basis.
When I became a college professor, the counsellors directed many veterans to my classes; these veterans all had faced difficult times, while serving in the Middle East. Today, these are a few of my closets and dearest memories, vying with first place status with the first group of students I had in the eighth-grade substitute year, who then followed me, or I followed them, into high school, where some were in my classes for a total of four different courses, ranging from United States History I, to AP European History, to AP Economics.
My story, the won given by God, was to be a mentor to all of my students. One even carved a cane for me that I still use today. People comment on the cane and I tell them the story of my mentoring this student. My story is one of mentoring. Even though I am now retired from teaching, I continue to mentor people through prayer leadership at my church. The people I speak with are seeking help from God; I cannot give them this help, but I can help them understand how much they are lived by God, and how much God is in their lives. In other words, I am teaching them to believe in themselves and their relations with God.
This is my story. It is the reason that I can look into the heart of a person, the flower that has come for God’s assistance. When id o this, I see the universe blossoming before me. I see the reason we have such a bountiful earth, providing us with God’s sustenance. This allows me to see that the formation of molecules that make us humans comes from God and is comforted by God in every step of our lives.
All we must do is recognize and accept what our story is, or what our stories are.
I pray that all of my friends, those I know, and those I don’t know, will have a very blessed day today. Hug your family, hug your friends, hug those whom you do not know. This is one of God’s greatest gifts – the hug.