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On the Side - May 2017

A Big, New Field
By Sharon Chatwell
There’s a baby at our house. (Not mine; our first grandchild, Benjamin.) He’s just old enough to be crawling around and pulling up to a stand. It’s fun to watch him grow and I am reminded of my own children doing these things not so long ago, although it seems like a lifetime.

Each day he makes progress. He practices everything he already knows how to do and sees if there is something new in his repertoire. He is growing!  And even though he doesn’t know it, he is learning new things every day. 

A few weeks ago, his granddaddy (my husband, Rick) gave Benjamin a shiny new golf ball of his very own. At first all Ben would do was try to chew on it. (Don’t worry, he can’t get the whole thing in his mouth.) But, since he has started crawling, he has discovered something new to do with it. 

He drops it. That’s it. He picks it up and drops it. He found out that it makes a loud noise when it falls on Granny’s hardwood floors, and then it does something else wonderful. It rolls.

Last week Benjamin spent an entire morning chasing his golf ball around my living room. When he caught up with it, he would pick it up and drop it again; and it would roll off somewhere else. Then he would squeal and crawl off after it. (Repeated times infinity.) He’s adorable and I watched him do it all morning. Then he had lunch and slept like a rock.

Benjamin’s dad, our son, is an avid golfer and one of his hopes is that, while he is raising Ben, he is also raising a new golf buddy. He knows, as Granddaddy does, that there is a whole big, new field (called a golf course) out there waiting in Ben’s future. But the baby has no idea of any of this yet. He just knows that his favorite toy bounces and rolls away.

Jeremiah 29:11 says: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” 

In our lives, we have gifts and talents, some of which may seem small or hidden at first. We may not even know what to do with them. But God knows what He has for us in our future, and He has given us our various gifts and talents purposefully to prepare us for that future, which we have in Christ Jesus. 

Most of us are married to doctors; I am too. My husband and I met while we were both in medical school. When we were there, trying to learn all about Medicine, we joked that it was like trying to drink from a fire hose. The material came at you so fast that it seemed impossible to take it all in. And it was!

While we were there (learning the Krebs Cycle for the 10th time*) it was hard for us to see how it all related to being a doctor. In fact, most of us still had no idea what it would be like to be a doctor. But the road to Medicine didn’t start there…

Back in college, and even in high school we had math and science classes (learning things like the Krebs Cycle for the first time.) And, way back before that, we were in elementary school, learning arithmetic and spelling.  And, even earlier than that, we were at home, where our parents taught us letters and numbers. All of these were in preparation for what was to come. You don’t get to one without the other. 

As women married to doctors, sometimes we find ourselves putting our dreams on hold while we take care of everything else that our husbands can’t do while they are busy in residency or in practice. We run the home, feed the children, attend all the school functions, and make sure that everyone gets to Sunday School and church. These are important things and their value cannot be overestimated.

We can’t know right now what abilities and talents our children will have and how God will use them in the future. But we can have faith that He will lead our children into the future, which He has prepared for them; just as He is leading us into the future that He has prepared for us with our own gifts and talents.

As always, what will happen in the future isn’t evident in the present. You don’t necessarily know today what will become of your gifts and talents tomorrow. Don’t become discouraged. Just keep working, doing what you can, and practicing what God allows now. There is no telling what God has for you in the future.

There may be a whole big, new field out there waiting for you, where you will learn to walk and use your gifts and talents as God leads you.

Just like I suspect that one day Benjamin will be out there on the golf course, walking with his Daddy.

Sharon is a writer and the wife of a physician, who lives in Lincoln, Nebraska.  She does not golf and can no longer remember all the details of the Krebs Cycle, which she memorized at least 12 times in her life… but she has great hopes for the future!

*The Krebs Cycle (or the Citric Acid Cycle) is a series of chemical reactions used by all aerobic organisms to release stored energy.

Scriptures References from NIV 1984

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