It's days like today that I can see the order in life. Don't ask me to explain exactly what all the order means, but I see it.
About 6 years ago I left my job of 13 years with Eckerd Youth Alternatives. Katie and I and our baby Elliott moved to Virginia with everything but a clue as to what we were going to do next. I landed a job with the City of Richmond. It didn't take me long to realize that other than earning a paycheck I had no idea what I was doing there. For someone who believes a job is supposed to be much more than that, that presented a challenge. And that remained my challenge right up until the blessed second I left there nearly 5 years later.
Late last year, my former boss at the City, Roslyn, who I thought the world of when I worked for her, called to gauge my interest in a position with her new organization. She left the City shortly before I did to take a Deputy Director position with the Department of Parks and Recreation in Prince Georges County, Maryland. Our conversations led to me taking on a position that allowed me to travel there periodically and do a lot of work from home.
The timing couldn't have been better. Katie had been itching to explore new professional challenges in her life - so the money helped. I began to see hints of rhyme and reason - order - in my previous job.
Today I began to see it even more.
The Prince Georges County Parks and Recreation department has a partnership with the Washington Nationals. Through it, Katie and I were able to take the boys up to a clinic today hosted by the Nationals and their coaches. Ian and Elliott got hitting instructions, chased fly balls, ran bases, pitched in a big league bullpen and played toss with a major league star.
It was all made possible because of a conversation I had at a meeting with the man that oversees the youth sports programming for the department, Steve. He went out of his way to make sure the boys could participate even though they "technically" weren't old enough, and arranged for Katie and I to be chaperones who got to hang out with the boys on the field. Steve is a good man. He is now a co-worker and a friend because of the great friendship I developed with Roslyn at the City. At the job I previously had no idea what I was there for.
Now I don't know if I was at the City so that some later day my wife could change her career direction. I don't know if I was there so the boys could spend a day on a big league diamond. But Katie is working at something she loves, and the boys put looks of awe on their faces the moment they stepped on the turf of the Nationals playing field today and are just now trying to scrub them off in their evening baths. So they are at least possible reasons.
I am reminded today that life isn't as much about a search for meaning as it is about doing meaningful things and letting God supply the meaning and order as he sees fit. I'm just thankful that every once and awhile I get a peek at it.
The pictures below are part of the story of a day I won't soon forget, and one the boys never will.